Imagine for a moment a scenario in which a wealthy person is critically ill. The situation could improve, but it does not look good. Relatives appear like vultures looking for carrion, each with an agenda and ideas for what to do after the patient passes away. This may be a fairly good analogy for what may happen soon with Barack Obama’s only “accomplishment,” his socialized, expensive, government sponsored health care plan.
In late June, the Supreme Court will render a decision with the very life of Obamacare hanging in the balance. Early guesses based upon the questions the Supreme Court justices asked during oral arguments suggest that the court is divided, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy as the deciding votes.
The Affordable Care Act, which passed with only Democrat votes, was designed around some fragile principles. First, insurance companies could not turn anyone away because they had pre-existing problems. This is a little bit like forcing a mechanic to fix a car for a flat $100 whether it’s a flat tire or a transmission.
by Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
When I was younger, I enjoyed being in the sun. The warmth on my skin felt good, and I liked having a tan. In fact, I once had a friendly competition with a fraternity brother who had a mixed racial genetic makeup to see if I could get as dark as he was by the end of the summer. I came close several times, and we’d laugh about it.
The price for that friendly competition is that about every two years now I go to my dermatologist to have something cut off and sent to a lab for analysis. The damaging ultraviolet rays that I absorbed caused some chromosomal damage, particularly on my head, even when I had hair. Since summer is upon us, this seems like a timely topic.
Each year, about a million Americans learn that they have skin cancer—the most common type of cancer in the United States. Approximately 40-50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once in their lifetimes. The risk is greatest for people who have fair skin that freckles easily—often those with red or blond hair and blue or light-colored eyes—although everyone can develop skin cancer.
We are experiencing global warming—we call it "Spring," and it happens magically and rhythmically every year. Even the coldest, harshest winters are followed by a Spring. Isn't that reassuring?
My title above comes from a quote from the late Paul Harvey, a personal hero of mine, whose oratory inspired listeners to use language as he did, not only to communicate, but to paint word pictures. This particular quote, as I recall, was made in the context of people who retire from careers, then fail to stay engaged in life. Now that the weather is nicer, it is time to talk about getting outside and exercising, engaging in all life has to offer.
I am privileged to care for a number of seniors who are in retirement. Many of these live at a local retirement community that is full of senior athletes. They are focused on living life to the fullest, making every minute count and enjoying it all. There are other seniors who would like to be more active, but their bodies are not cooperating as they once did. This article is for them.
Imagine a hard, hairy coconut filled with something that has the consistency of Jell-O. What if you hit the coconut really hard – what would happen to the Jell-O? Chances are it would contract toward the side of impact, then bounce to the other side of the coconut, and maybe wobble like Jell-O does until it finally stops.
This is exactly what happens when someone hits their head. The human brain is not really solid at all, having a consistency more like that Jell-O in the coconut (you’ve suspected that among some people, right?). It wobbles back and forth in the skull on impact, where it may tear some of the blood vessels that feed it. This might also happen with violent shaking such as the “shaken baby syndrome.” The acceleration and deceleration affects the way the brain functions at least temporarily, and most of the time, the effect is reversible.
Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
Kevin Spacey plays the part of the president of United States in “House of Cards.” His character is a ruthless, opportunistic, but pleasantly decisive, murderer who plotted his way into the presidency. A Reuters poll yesterday placed that character at 57% popularity if he were the actual president, while Barack Obama flounders at 54% approval. Obama’s retort is that at least he is more popular than Congress.
Congress is certainly a dysfunctional group in a larger, more dysfunctional government. Part of that is by design, as we elect people to resist the efforts of others with whom we disagree. Nevertheless, the First Amendment to the Constitution, that much-maligned, circumvented, and ignored document that made America exceptional, still forbids Congress to abridge our right “to petition Congress for the redress of grievances.”
Each year I go to Congress in my role as the Georgia delegate for the American Chiropractic Association with my list of grievances that need attention. We have focused on veterans’ issues for the past several years. In my last column, I mentioned the plight of a Vietnam veteran who could not get an appointment in the VA surgery clinic. I assure everyone that we will not give up the fight for our veterans.
Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
Many studies have been published showing the efficacy of spinal decompression in bulging discs. This is neither new nor surprising, but the excitement of recent research is contagious. Indulge me for a moment while I share some enthusiasm with you!
There are 33 vertebrae in the human spine that are separated by 23 intervertebral discs (IVDs). These are made of very strong cartilage that is arranged in onion-skin-like layers around a liquid center, called the nucleus. Think of that gum that has the liquid center, and you have the hang of it.
Each disc is designed to act as a cushion to put space between vertebrae to protect bones. If bones touch bones, since they are made of metal (calcium), they will erode and destroy each other. The spacing of vertebrae is also important to create holes for the spinal nerves to exit the spine on their way to their respective body parts. IVDs are about 70% water when we are young, but they dry as we age (sadly, like some other parts), making discs more fragile and prone to injury by tearing.