Enjoy your time riding (Listening & reading) the LifeTrain! Today…”Soulful Saturday!”.
All Aboard! Welcome fellow passengers. This week on the LifeTrain a friendly reminder that all are important, despite the clothes we wear …or the skin we wear. Red, Yellow, Black and White…Jesus loves the little children of the world!
Anyway, when I came across this story…it made me reminisce and laugh because I was in a slightly similar situation MANY years ago. I was the manager of a rather large data center in the DC earlier in my carer. We decided to outsource the maintenance of our mainframes. We had approximately 50 mainframes so this was a very large multimillion dollar data center. Anyway my assistant (Ron) and I flew to New jersey after he had narrowed down what he thought were some businesses that could handle our account. After Ron researched some viable options. We decided to make site visits to make sure the companies were truly large enough to handle an account of our magnitude.
Once we landed at our first site visit there was a party of the company’s officials at the airport (we really were a big account to be wooed) and they were immediately all over Ron. I might add that we had never met face to face with these guys, but we did do a teleconference prior to screen a bit so they did know my name. Oh…and I must sheepishly add that Ron is white…and hold on a minute…lemme check…yep, I am black. Anyway, they were all over Ron and basically ignored me. After awhile that became more and more obvious. I was cracking up inside and it was all I could do to keep a straight face. Well, we get through lunch, tour, meetings..and meetings and right before the limo back to the airport the question was asked, so Ron, do we get the account. Ron looked at me, kinda turned red and said “Look guys,” “Chuckie’s the decision maker”, “we’ll have to get back to you…”. I guarantee you, …the stunned looks we got as we bid a due and boarded the Limo were more than worth the price of admission. True story and so is the following…Oh and of course…don’t judge a book by its cover…
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a Homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston , and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge
‘We’d like to see the president,’ the man said softly. ‘He’ll be busy all day,’ the secretary snapped. ‘We’ll wait,’ the lady replied.
For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.
‘Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,’ she said to him!
He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.
The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, ‘We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.’
The president wasn’t touched. He was shocked. ‘Madam,’ he said, gruffly, ‘we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.’
‘Oh, no,’ the lady explained quickly. ‘We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.’
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, ‘A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.’
For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now.
The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, ‘Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own?’
Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto , California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University , a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.
You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.
Welcome aboard the LifeTrain. Today I would like to share a reminder that as long as we have breath in our bodies we are going to have to deal with constant change. So, keep the following in
mind as you journey down this track..called “Life”.
Research has shown that those who are happiest in old age are the ones who have dealt most successfully with the changes in their lives. Learning to accept and adapt to change is the skill of a lifetime.
Here’s a book that could potentially help you with change. It certainly has come in handy for me.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Hey Passengers welcome back aboard! So glad you are riding.
I don’t like slash and gore movies but, I do like some rather odd movies for a guy my age like the Wizard of Oz and Ratatouille. They teach me lessons. Movies like Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, The Road to Perdition and the Bucket List all have golden nuggets of wisdom in them if you look close enough.
Today dear passengers, let’s look at my take on The Wizard of Oz. It [movie] has also taught me personally some unforgettable lessons about life.
Accept your friends for who they are
A true friend will help you on your life’s journey and get you through all the problems—big
and small—that may arise. So accept your friends, quirks and all, and recognize when they need
a little help too. Because you never know when you’ll need them around to rescue you from some
Follow Your Own Yellow Brick Road
Although Glinda the Good Witch directs Dorothy to the yellow brick road, explaining that it
will lead her to the one person who can get her back home to Kansas, let’s face it: Dorothy probably
could have found the road on her own. It was right there in front of her. Discover your own path in
life—what you want to be, where you want to go, how you want to live–and be sure to sing and skip
throughout the journey.
Don’t hide your true self behind a screen
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when we discover the Wizard is just a man. He has
no magical powers. He doesn’t even have a booming voice. The lesson? Don’t try to be something
you’re not, because the people who matter in this life will love you no matter what.
There’s no place like home
Although it should go without saying, home means more than just your house or apartment.
It’s wherever the people you love—and who love you—are found. You can have many different
“homes,” and even if you haven’t visited in a while, you can always go back.
Look within for your power
We all remember the scene where Dorothy misses her balloon flight home, starts to cry, and
is subsequently notified by Glinda that with those fancy ruby slippers, she had the power to
return home the whole time; she just needed to discover it for herself. When in doubt,
look within for the answer. You’re more powerful than you think.
Allow Yourself to Dream!
Whether you want a better home, a more exciting job, or a new love, allow yourself to take a moment
from your busy life to look over the rainbow and visualize future possibilities. This could really
inspire you to start turning the dream into reality
Running Away Is Never the Answer
Sure, that mean Miss Gultch threatened to take Toto away after he snapped at her. But if Dorothy had
not run away, she probably wouldn’t have gotten caught up in that tornado mess. Confronting your
problems and figuring out a solution (with a little help from your friends or family) will help you
feel better about yourself and allow you to sleep at night. You won’t even need a poppy field.
Don’t Give Up Your Principles (or Your Ruby Slippers)
Dorothy knew giving her ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch would only lead to trouble.
(The sparks that flew when the Witch tried to take them from her might have been an indication.)
So when someone tries to make you do something you know in your heart isn’t right, stand firm and
stay true to yourself.
Believe in Good and Good Things Will Happen
Wonder what would have happened had Dorothy chosen to follow the Wicked Witch instead of Glinda?
Probably nothing good. Dorothy chose to follow the Good Witch and was helped along her journey.
Being positive and believing in good will make it easier for good things to happen in your life.
The Solution Might Be Right Under Your Nose
The answer to Dorothy’s problem getting home was literally under her nose the entire time–on
her feet to be precise. When you’ve racked your brain for a fix to your own problem (big or small)
and still don’t have a solution, try stepping away from it for a minute to clear your mind.
Tackling your troubles with a clear head may help you find the simple answers that are right in front
I hope some of my observations might be of some help to you one day.
ALL ABOARD! The LifeTrain!
He gave his life, so that I could vote….in America, eat at lunch counters…in America, walk into the front door of Malls…in America, sit anywhere there is an open seat in the public transit system…in America. I am a Christian, black man born …in America and most of all, I call myself, what I am, an American! I was born in America (not Africa). Thank you Dr. King!
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Although Dr. King’s name was mistakenly recorded as “Michael King” on his birth certificate, this was not discovered until 1934, when his father applied for a passport. He had an older sister, Willie Christine (September 11, 1927) and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel (July 30, 1930 â€“ July 1, 1969). King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He entered Morehouse College at age fifteen, skipping his ninth and twelfth high school grades without formally graduating. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree in 1951. In September 1951, King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on June 5, 1955 (but see the Plagiarism section for controversy regarding this degree).
In 1953, at age 24, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1,
1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to comply with the Jim Crow laws that required her to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by E. D. Nixon (head of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) and led by King, soon followed. (In March 1955, a 15 year old school girl, Claudette Colvin, suffered the same fate, but King did not become involved.) The boycott lasted for 381 days, the situation becoming so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation on all public transport.
King was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King continued to dominate the organization. King was an adherent of the philosophies of nonviolent civil disobedience as described in Henry David Thoreau’s essay of the same name, and used successfully in India by Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi. King applied this philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC. In 1959, he wrote The Measure of A Man, from which the piece What is Man?, an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, he visited the Gandhi family in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to Americaâ€™s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, â€œSince being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.â€
The FBI began wiretapping King in 1961, fearing that Communists were trying to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, but when no such evidence emerged, the bureau used the incidental details caught on tape over six years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position.
King correctly recognized that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow laws would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights. Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that made the Civil Rights Movement the single most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.
King organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into United States law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King and the SCLC applied the principles of nonviolent protest with great success by strategically choosing the method of protest and the places in which protests were carried out in often dramatic stand-offs with segregationist authorities. Sometimes these confrontations turned violent. King and the SCLC were instrumental in the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, in 1961 and 1962, where divisions within the black community and the canny, low-key response by local government defeated efforts; in the Birmingham protests in the summer of 1963; and in the protest in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964. King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, in December 1964, where SNCC had been working on voter registration for several months.
King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called “Big Six” civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were: Roy Wilkins, NAACP; Whitney Young, Jr., Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; John Lewis, SNCC; and James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The primary logistical and strategic organizer was King’s colleague Bayard Rustin. For King, this role was another which courted controversy, since he was one of the key figures who acceded to the wishes of President John F. Kennedy in changing the focus of the march. Kennedy initially opposed the march outright, because he was concerned it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation, but the organizers were firm that the march would proceed.
In late March 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. (For example, African American workers, unlike white workers, were not paid when sent home because of inclement weather.)
On April 3, King returned to Memphis and addressed a rally, delivering his “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ, Inc. – World Headquarters). King’s flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane. In the close of the last speech of his career, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following:
â€œ And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. â€
King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, King’s close friend and colleague who was present at the assassination, swore under oath to the HSCA that King and his entourage stayed at room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often it was known as the ‘King-Abernathy suite.’ While standing on the motel’s 2nd floor balcony, King was shot at 6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968. The bullet entered through his right cheek smashing his jaw and then traveling down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. According to biographer Taylor Branch, King’s last words on the balcony were to musician Ben Branch (no relation to Taylor Branch) who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was attending: “Ben, make sure you play Take My Hand, Precious Lord in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.” Friends inside the motel room heard the shots and ran to the balcony to find King on the ground. Local Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, whose house King was on his way to, remembers that upon seeing King go down he ran into a hotel room to call an ambulance. Nobody was on the switchboard, so Kyles ran back out and yelled to the police to get one on their radios. It was later revealed that the hotel switchboard operator, upon seeing King shot, had had a fatal heart attack and could not operate the phones. King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 60 cities.
Five days later, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning for the lost civil rights leader. A crowd of 300,000 attended his funeral that same day. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended on behalf of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was holding a meeting on the Vietnam War at Camp David. (There were fears that Johnson might be hit with protests and abuses over the war if he attended.) At his widow’s request, King eulogized himself: his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a recording of his famous ‘Drum Major’ sermon, given on February 4, 1968, was played at the funeral. In that sermon he makes a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to “feed the hungry”, “clothe the naked”, “be right on the [Vietnam] war question”, and “love and serve humanity”. Per King’s request, his good friend Mahalia Jackson sang his favorite hymn, “Take My hand, Precious Lord” at his funeral.
Hey passengers, have you ever heard the term: “Stop and smell the Roses”? …or “you can’t see the Forest for the trees?”. Well, today let’s dig a little deeper along that vein, Let’s focus on the trees…
There was a man who lived in Alabama on a half-acre lot blessed with huge oak trees that were 40 feet in diameter. They were HUGE! The house was laid out such that every bedroom faced the backyard. Each bedroom had a large picture window. The view was breathtaking. He enjoyed just looking at the trees. In the fall he would identify a particular leaf that was falling and watched it for what seemed liked 5 minutes before it fell to earth.
One day he invited this married couple over to enjoy the view from the bedroom window. He took them into the bedroom and excitedly pointed to the trees out of the window and exclaimed, “just look”!
After about 20 seconds there was no comment from the couple. He then noticed a big frown on the woman’s face.
He asked, “What’s wrong”. …She was reluctant to reply.
He insisted and again said, “What’s wrong?”
She relented and said, “Don’t you see those fingerprints on the glass?”
He turned and looked and there were what seemed to be fifty or more fingerprints on the glass. He ran for the Windex to clean the glass. The lady explained, “Oh, I didn’t mean for you to clean it now.”
The morale here is this. That lady never saw the trees. Even when he tried to point them out, She missed it! He didn’t see the fingerprints. He was looking through the glass not at fingerprints. When the fingerprints were pointed out to him, he saw them and removed them. The lady never saw the trees. She focused on the fingerprints and she never got passed them.
Life is much like that. There are things in life that are good and things that are bad. You choose which things you want to focus on. I focus on the trees.
What are you focusing on?
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
All Aboard! Merry Christmas! As I help you board the train I hand you a white business card with black lettering. It simply says…
A designated driver helps you party another day.
Hello LifeTrain passengers, the holiday season is upon us. We are just days before Christmas. As you know Christmas, and the upcoming New Year calls for thanksgiving for all the many blessings bestowed upon us, a celebration of the birth of Christ, and a reflection on the significant events in our lives that occurred the past twelve months. For many folks that means celebrating! Office parties, family get-togethers, social outings, etc. Drinking and driving is especially high during these times, thus the reason for this discussion.
No sense in putting our heads in the ground like an Ostrich or ignoring the proverbial “White Elephant ” in the room. Time for some real talk. We mentioned celebration and sometimes that celebration is paired with libation which increases chances for DWI’s. It happens, and my prayer is it won’t happen to you or a loved one. Nothing good can come from that. However, things happen, life happens and if you or a loved one is faced with this situation let’s take a look at a conversation I had recently with my good friend, Attorney Ewing Carter III.
Note: Even though I am his athletic and academic superior, I do want to thank the attorney for doing these articles. Trust me, if you ever need a lawyer, these articles will help prepare you for what to expect so…Thank you Attorney Carter for allowing us a peek into the legal world. However, we will note that this is not to be construed as legal advice.
EC III: As for the first part of your opening statement, in your dreams dude in your dreams. However, it is my pleasure to ride and share with you and the passengers here on the LifeTrain…you are doing some good work…especially for a mentally challenged chap like yourself.
Chuckie: Enough of the pleasantries, Tell me sir…How does the law know if I’ve had too much to drink before I drive?
EC III: In most all 50 states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI). A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs). Generally, the “Officer of the Peace “, (policeman, sheriff, DMV officer, park ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.
Chuckie: What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III: Be as cooperative as possible. The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. He will be developing an opinion about “you” to determine to whether further investigation is warranted. Noted signs of impairment are: slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.
Chuckie: If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?
EC III: The decision is totally yours to make. However, there are some facts to consider
Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right. Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along
the road and highways of their state.
If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain period of time. This revocation is generally for one (1) year. However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court. In North Carolina, again, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege. Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive, then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.
Well passengers, there you have it…Best case scenario, remember this:
The driver is safer when the roads are dry; the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Think of your future, Think of your date, Then think before making that fatal mistake, Don’t Drink and Drive.
All Aboard, The LifeTrain!
All Aboard! Welcome aboard…Glad to see you on board. As is customary as I help you up onto the Train I hand you a white business card with black raised lettering. On the front it reads:
“Care giving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.”
and on the back it reads:
“Care-giving will never be one-size-fits-all.”
I’m advising you to go back to the legal car here on the train for another session with The Attorney, Ewing Carter III. Also, hit the radio button in the upper right portion of the train to enjoy some music as you ride (read this article).
Can you believe that Thanksgiving and the holiday season is upon us? I pray that we will have the opportunity to get together again. While we are all in one place this might be a good time to
have that tough conversation many of us are facing. Those of you facing elder care issues will be especially interested in today’s conversation So, with no further ado let’s head back to the Law car and pick Mr. Carter’s brain.
Enjoy the LifeTrain Radio while you peruse this and other “blog” articles!
Chuckie: Attorney Carter! Greetings Sir!
EC III: Hey Chuckie, come on in and sit a spell.
Chuckie: Sir, our passengers really want to know, who was one of the baddest football players ever to come out of Springfield South High School?
EC III: Me.
Chuckie: GONG! Wrong answer. I’ll give you another try. Who was the Captain of your senior year football team.
EC II: Look man, “you” …Ok? Now what is the question, I’m sure the passenger’s time is just as valuable as mine.
Chuckie: Ok, OK, you lawyers and money.
Chuckie: Today’s question chosen of a great many good questions from our loyal passengers is this: My elderly mother is confined to a wheelchair and can’t get around. I’m
the only one who helps her. My brothers live in another state and have their own lives with their families. Can I get something from the court that allows me to take care of her daily needs? I’m fearful that she’s beginning to lose her memory. What can I do?
EC III: If your mother is of “sound mind” which means that her faculties of perception and judgment are not impaired by any mental disorder, then, executing a Power of Attorney would be
helpful in this situation. Because your mother’s mobility is limited, your acting as her attorney- in- fact will enable her to transact her business by and through you. In most cases a General
Durable Power of Attorney is preferred because it remains in effect until revoked and canceled by a subsequent instrument in writing. Also, this power of attorney does not terminate upon disability, incompetence, or incapacity. Basically, your mother’s power of attorney giving you authority to act in her stead is enforceable until her death, or until she revokes it.
However, if your mother now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or any associated form of dementia, then she Does not possess the capacity to give power of attorney. Your mother’s primary physician can provide you an Opinion Letter concerning her mental capacity. Once you have the letter, you should file a petition to find her incompetent by the Courts. Once the Petition is filed and a Hearing scheduled, a determination of competency will be made by the Clerk of Courts. If and when, she is adjudicated incompetent, the Courts will: 1) appoint someone as Guardian of her Person, and 2) appoint someone Guardian of her Estate. This can be the same person or entity, or two different persons or entities. The Guardian of the Person makes decisions concerning health care, housing, daily activities, etc. The Guardian of the Estate makes all financial decisions concerning the person. As always mentioned, consult with an attorney in your locale for specific advice. I hope that helps.
Chuckie: Thanks Attorney Carter, good stuff…as usual. Passengers, for more on this debilitating disease check out my upcoming article with Dr. Dee PhD.
Chuckie: You know Mr. Carter, this was another great session. I’ve now figured out that you are a much better lawyer than a football player.
EC III: Yep…and you are a much better water boy than golfer.
Chuckie: See you on the links dude! And now passengers, for your favorite part of “Legally Speaking!”
You can learn more about Attorney Carter at the: www.ECARTERLAW.com
Hey Passengers welcome aboard and back for another session on the good Doc’s couch. I really believe this was one of our better sessions. I would humbly encourage you to invite anyone you know to the train to review this interview. I found the information to be incredibly enlightening. So, let’s mozey on back to the Doctor’s car, oh and stop by the cafe car and bring me some salted peanuts in the shell and a diet coke please…
Kick off the music (See radio Broadcast Button upper right), I hope this helps
Dr. Dee: So, Chuckie, one of the passengers has made a special request to discuss coping with a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease. Are you game?
Chuckie: “CALL THE POLICE!”, not only is this woman a brilliant Doctor but, she reads minds as well! Come mere gurl! Gimmie a hug!
Chuckie: Yes, it seems that this topic has been a theme in my life in terms of coming in contact with friends dealing with this. How shall we begin?
Dr Dee: First of all I think we ought to talk a little bit about what exactly Alzheimer’s disease is. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. Not all dementia is Alzheimer’s but Alzheimer’s is characterized by dementia. This is a disease where a person gradually develops memory problems which are more and more severe. They begin by forgetting little things, and as the disease develops, they forget procedures we take for granted such as brushing their teeth getting dressed, and they forget people close to them and even their own name, as well as other personal bits of information. Usually the disease takes a slow course, and develops over several years.
Chuckie: I can see how this would be really sad, and frustrating for a family member.
Dr. Dee: Yes this can be very, very frustrating. In fact, the passenger who suggested this topic mentioned that from her perspective, dealing with a family member with Alzheimer’s is even more difficult to cope with than dealing with someone with a terminal disease.
Chuckie: Wow. That’s pretty heavy stuff. Why do think that might be?
Dr. Dee: Well, as with other situations, Alzheimer’s disease involves coping with a great deal of loss. But unlike divorce, where that person is still the same person you were married to, only they’re just not there anymore, and unlike most terminal diseases where that person may have physical decline, but is still essentially the same person, Alzheimer’s disease involves a relatively physically healthy individual, who looks the same as you’ve always known in most cases, except that they’re getting older. When you look at this person who looks the same as they’ve always looked, you expect them to know you as they’ve always known you, and behave, as they’ve always behaved. But they don’t. And they don’t because they are losing their memory and memory forms the basis of who we are. Not only that, Alzheimer’s is a slow moving disease. So, just as you get to the point where you feel you have accepted some loss of who that person was, something else of that person you know and love, fades away, and you are right back at the beginning again, having to mourn the loss of something new, that is now no longer there.
Chuckie: So, what can a person who has a family member who is suffering with Alzheimer’s do? How can they cope with this constant series of losses that can apparently go on for a number of years?
Dr. Dee: Chuckie, this is one of those cases where a really good support group can be a life line. In a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers, a family member can meet with others who know exactly what the family member is going through. They can also offer helpful tips for coping with the little changes.
Chuckie: What kind of changes are common for family members of patients with Alzheimer’s?
Dr. Dee: Two major kinds of changes have to be dealt with. On the one hand, dealing with a family member who has Alzheimer’s requires changes in role and relationships. For instance, the Alzheimer’s patient may have been the one who handled the finances or the taxes or the cooking or the housekeeping. But gradually they become unable to carry out those roles, and someone else has to step in and begin to do them. This can be overwhelming and frustrating for the family member. Sometimes they have to learn completely new skills, such as in the case of dealing with finances. Sometimes it involves leaving their own job to devote themselves to full-time care of the Alzheimer’s patient. This can also be quite frustrating because jobs can define people in many ways, and to have to give that up can affect a caregivers self-esteem. Sometimes caregivers feel guilty about these shifts in roles. At other times, the may feel angry and resentful, that they now have to give up significant portions of their lives to become a caregiver. The other major change that goes along with that, is the process of letting go of the person you once knew and loved, and beginning to accept the person who is evolving before you. And that person changes from day to day and year to year, so again, this process of letting go and accepting can go on for years.
Chuckie: Is there any cure for Alzheimer’s disease? Can anything be done to help patients with Alzheimer’s?
Dr. Dee: Unfortunately, no, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But there are a few treatments that are available. However, the treatments, only appear to slow the progress of the disease. There are lifestyle modifications that can help in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s. As a person becomes more and more forgetful, it may be helpful for family members to create simple scrapbooks including pictures of loved ones with a few words, describing who they are, such as a picture of a daughter, with the words, “your oldest daughter” underneath. Or even a picture list in the bathroom, describing what needs to happen in there, such as brushing teeth, bathing, toileting. Of course, as the dementia, increases, they may likely forget exactly how to brush teeth, or bathe, or toilet appropriately. Simplifying the choices that an Alzheimer’s patient has available to them can also be very helpful. For instance, if they have trouble deciding what to wear, cleaning out the closet of everything but 3 or 4 pairs of pants, 3 or 4 tops, 3 or 4 dresses, and a couple pairs of shoes, may be just what the doctor ordered.
Chuckie: What do you advise family members to keep in mind as they deal with loved ones who are gradually forgetting everything about who they are and what their lives have been like?
Dr. Dee: We need to always keep in mind that Alzheimer’s disease is no picnic for the patient either. They don’t suddenly wake up with dementia. It’s a gradual process where they often recognize that they are becoming more and more forgetful, and the world is gradually becoming more and more confusing for them. So, when they become angry or react in ways that don’t make sense, its helpful for family members to remember that the patient is often confused and frightened, and the world no longer makes much sense to them either. They are not intentionally trying to be hurtful and difficult, they simply can’t help what is happening to them. And, unfortunately neither can anyone else. If family members can find a way to reframe the behaviors of the Alzheimer’s patient in a way that takes into account their own confusion, helplessness, and fear of this strange world developing around themselves, it can not only change the way a family member behaves toward the patient, but it is often helpful for the family member as a means of coping, as well.
Chuckie: Thanks for addressing this impromptu topic. Any parting words?
Dr. Dee: Sure. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get connected to an Alzheimer’s support group. There are major changes that have to come, over the course of dealing with the family member with Alzheimer’s, including eventually placing them in residential care. This can bring about all kinds of feelings in family members, including guilt, anger, and fear. Having the support of others who have been through that fire, or are going through it themselves, can be a major means of coping.
Chuckie: Doc, as far as I’m concerned you knocked this one out the park. I know that many will be blessed by your willingness to let us partake of your knowledge. May your rewards be many in Heaven.
Dr.Dee: Thanks Chuckie, my pleasure.
Chuckie: Oh, Doc…one last question.
Chuckie: Knock, Knock…
Chuckie: Knock, Knock
Dr.Dee: “SIGH!” “…ok who’s there”
Chuckie: DOC! We need to get you some help! You are sitting here looking right at me and you axe, “WHO’S THERE?”
Dr.Dee: BOY BYE! GET OUT!!!
All aboard for day 3 of Mental Health week on the LifeTrain. Today we mosey on back to the clinic car and sit for a spell with my good friend, Dr. Emily Hath PhD. (Dr. E). Today’s topic of discussion is again…”Anxiety”. In this interview, we hope to give you some understanding about the nature of anxiety and what you might do to help yourself.
Reminder: You can listen to LifeTrain Radio while you surf our site…see button upper right…
Chuckie: Dr. E!
Dr. E: Chuckie!
Chuckie: We’ve missed you! I thought you had forgotten about us.
Dr. E: No my dear friend, I’ve had an extremely high case load lately but, no…I look forward to my rides with you on the Train, having some anxiety?
Chuckie: Well I did start a new position but, overall I’m not ready for meds yet.
Chuckie: Dr. E, give us a little initial insight on Anxiety.
Dr.E: Well Chuckie, the chances are fairly high that either you or a loved one has had a history of anxiety. In any given year about 17% of us will have an anxiety disorder—and over our lives, about 28 % of us will have an anxiety disorder. And, if you have one anxiety disorder, then you probably have two or three anxiety disorders—and, possibly, depression. The most common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and specific phobia. 49% of the general population has a history of anxiety, depression, substance abuse or some of all three major problems.
Chuckie: In doing my homework for today I found that Anxiety disorders have effects on your health. Your thoughts?
Dr E: People with panic disorder are more likely to have mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, peptic ulcer, diabetes, angina or thyroid disease. In fact, men who have anxiety disorders are also at greater risk for cardiac disorders, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illness, asthma, and back pain. Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to have a history of cardiac problems, hypertension, metabolic, gastrointestinal, dermatological, respiratory disorders and arthritis.
Chuckie: I also read that anxiety has been increasing.
Dr.E: Yes…The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. We are getting more anxious every decade.
Psychologists have speculated about the possible reasons for this increase in both anxiety and depression over the last fifty years. Some of the reasons may be a decrease in “social connectedness”—we tend to move more, change jobs, participate less in civic organizations, and we are less likely to participate in religious communities. People are far less likely to get married, more likely to delay getting married, and more likely to live alone. All of these factors can contribute to worry, uncertainty, anxiety and depression.
Chuckie: I was thinking, with all of technology and societal pressures do you think tha our “life” expectations have changed over the years?
Dr.E: Yes, excellent observation. We expect to have a more affluent life-style now then in say the 50s and 60s. We are driven by unrealistic ideas of what we need (“I need the latest ipod!!”), and we have unrealistic ideas about relationships and appearance. In the 1950’s sociologists would write about “The Organization Man” who worked for the corporation for his or her entire career. Today many people would love to have a job that had that kind of stability. And our expectations about retirement also lead us to feel anxious. We now have to rely on our own savings—rather than a company pension plan—to help us survive during retirement.
And anxiety isn’t helped by the fact that we have all the bad news all the time. Turn on your cable stations and you can immediately see the latest catastrophe—sometimes as it is actually happening in “real time”. Bad news sells—and reminds us— that we can all be in danger. Even though we live longer, have better health care, travel is safer, we are richer, and we have safer cars— we now think that there is a disaster on the horizon. Because we are constantly bombarded with bad news, we think that we are in greater danger. We may not be in greater danger—but it’s what we think that counts in the way we feel. No wonder we are nervous wrecks.
Chuckie: Dr. E that’s about enough for this session although we could go much longer on this topic. When you return can we talk about some remedies?
Dr.E: Sounds like a plan my good man.
Well Fellow passengers, another therapy session in the can. Hope this helps.
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!!!