Please, Baby Boomers, mark your calendars

The importance of this just can’t be stressed enough! If you lived through the 1960’s – regardless of whether you remember it 😉 – ask your doctor to order a Hep C blood test. If you’re lucky and the test rules Hep C out, breathe free and donate some blood at your nearest Red Cross as a “Thank You”. If test can’t rule it out, stop ALL drinking (even beer & wine) immediately and ask your Doctor what else you can do to prevent or slow down serious damage to your liver. If you also have, or suspect you may have, Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH, HFE, “Celtic Curse”, “The Bronze Killer”) you are at a much higher risk for contracting Hep C and are more likely to have trouble clearing it, so don’t delay!

Glob Blog

Liver disease, liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and an increasingly poor quality of life is what’s in store if your Hepatitis C goes untreated. It’s true, and it’s not fun, believe me.

Here’s another fun fact: Baby boomers, those born in the years 1945 to 1965, account for more than 75% of the cases of Hepatitis C.  (See the CDC page Here )

If you think you may have been exposed, even in the slightest manner, it’s really nothing to get tested and could be the one thing that prevents a very serious downhill slide in your life, your healthy life.

The second annual National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19, 2013.  Mark your calendar and go get tested.

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Hey look, I’m a regular guy, married to the sweetest woman in the world, a Dad, sports guy, good time music lover, just me, you know.  I was infected. And you know what:  it doesn’t really matter how, it happened…

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This I Believe

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The post above comes from Casey Braun, the son of Steve and Sue Braun (very dear friends of ours and our own son’s God-Parents). I’ve re-blogged this particular post because it’s just some excellent advice for those seeking jobs – as well as for everyone else! IMHO, it is vital that we each stand for something – something that defines who we are and gives purpose to our life. The essay that Casey recommends is something that I personally believe should be repeated every year – to remind us who we are – and to see how we’ve grown (or strayed).

Virtual Green Healing

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I’ll get to explaining the title of this post in a minute, but first, a little preamble is called for.

While I’ve been laying low in the background for a few months, I’ve been silently enjoying reading my favorite blogs (Dogkisses) and Green Healing Notes, along with a ton of books. If you’re a regular reader here at IconDoIt, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned Dogkisses several times and that the author of those two blogs is also a frequent commenter here. So what’s that all about, you might ask?

One of the greatest serendipities of writing a blog and commenting on blogs other than your own, is that you have the opportunity to come to know people from around the globe with whom you already have something in common (an interest in the subject of a particular post commented on). Now, the odds are pretty dang slim of that happening as you go about your daily routine and encounter previously unknown people at work, at the grocery store, etc. even if you are one of the rare folks who actually speaks to strangers! And when you find yourself commenting and/or receiving comments on more than one posting from the same person, you start to get to know them a bit and after a while, may find yourself communicating with them “off blog” and developing a deep friendship. For someone like myself, who has extremely limited face-to-face contact with anyone in the world beyond my front door, such opportunities and friendships are valuable beyond compare. This is how I first met and became friends with “Lady Dogkisses” (whom I’ll refer to as LDK for the sake of brevity).

From the outside looking in, it might appear that LDK and I have very little in common. I’m close to 20 years older, live in an upscale suburb of a large city on the north coast of Ohio while she lives in the mountains of North Carolina and struggles just to get by. Our ethnic backgrounds and religious upbringing couldn’t be more different and we have entirely different work backgrounds, skills and hobbies. But what we DO have in common is how we have reacted to the tragedies, outrages, and challenges in our lives; the basic principles that guide our decisions and actions; a strong spiritual connection with the earth and sky; and a tendency to want (and make our best attempts to) bring comfort to everyone who hurts and cure the world’s ills. Of course, this latter trait – which is an impossible task to ever fully accomplish, thus we are always feeling badly for our “failures” – often gets played out at the expense of our own personal best interests. And that’s why we need each other to remind us to give ourselves permission every once in a while to escape from our self-appointed burdens to pamper ourselves with some free time to “play” or do nothing at all, get some uninterrupted sleep, and have a few relaxed good meals with enjoyable company. Now THAT’s my definition of a “real” friend!

So now back to the title of this post, “Virtual Green Healing”. For several months now, Dogkisses has been writing a series of posts centered around the concept of “Green Healing” which is a way of cleansing oneself from all of the chaos of the man-made world and getting back to the core of our spirit through working with the earth, planting and growing, and taking the time to breathe in and breathe out along with the land and the creatures who inhabit it and make it work. LDK has embarked on a project to facilitate this Green Healing through volunteering, along with her adult son, in a horticulture program for folks with special needs. Now, I love a beautiful flower garden and eating fruits and vegetables fresh picked each day but its’ been over a dozen years since I’ve been physically been able to participate in that process and more than 20 years since I actually had the time, and even then, I never did have much of a green thumb. But my lack of gardening skills and infirmities have never gotten in the way of my love of nature and, in fact, one of the strongest images in my mind when I engage in guided imagery exercises to deal with chemotherapy and pain, is of walking in the woods along the Skyline Drive in Virginia on a clear, cool autumn day. I can just smell that clean air and hear the crunching of dried leaves beneath my feet and the honking of flocks of geese and ducks soaring way above the trees. And it is with this same imagination that I am taken into the garden alongside my friend and her son, whenever I read the latest posts on her blog and I feel myself healing right along with them. (Thanks LDK for sharing your experiences and letting me tag along for the ride!)


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