Sunday, May 15, 2005

Doctors and Planetarians

I recommend you read this one a couple times.

This one starts with me watching an animated version of Ray Romano who is guest starring on the Simpsons. I rarely watch the Simpsons but had an urge to do so after seeing that they are coming up to their 350th episode. Ray Romano is playing Homer's contractor, hired to fix the Simpsons' roof. In the first or second scene I see, Homer goes to a Home Depot type of place. He finds Ray inside, descending a ladder carrying a box marked "SHINGLES". Ray says "Oh hey Homer, I just came down with a case of shingles." I laugh very hard at this.

The next day, I am on instant messenger with Chimi. I tell her I am thinking of starting a blog to record all of the coincidences that I am noticing. She offers to tell me one that happened to her. Years ago in the early days of the internet, she made a website for Dr. Hui, a Toronto doctor whom she admired and respected. Dr. Hui blends eastern and western medicine, and one remarkable thing he has done is to develop a successful treatement for Herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles. A bit about shingles, from an article on Dr. Hui's website:

"Shingles is the most common cause of chronic nerve pain, and at least 50,000 people seek help for this disease every year. No one who has ever experienced an attack of shingles would wish it on their worst enemy. One woman described the pain as "worse than childbirth", others considered suicide to relieve the excruciating intensity of the pain."

I had no idea that shingles was anything like this.

Chimi tells me how a few months ago, she was mentioning to her partner that she had not seen Dr. Hui in years and she was thinking of getting in touch. The next day, Dr. Hui emailed her to say hello. As part of their email conversation, Chimi offered to remake his website, as it was looking very dated. She didn't want any payment for it. Dr. Hui was very grateful, and told her that if anyone in her family ever developes shingles, he will help them without payment.

A week later, Chimi got a call from her aunt. Her grandmother had been diagnosed with shingles.

Another remarkable thing that Dr. Hui did was to help Bob Hunter. Bob is a huge environmental acitivist in our world. He cofounded Greenpeace and served as its president from 1973 to 1977. He is a prolific columnist and author on ecology issues. Originally from Vancouver, he is the ecology specialist for CityTv in Toronto. Being pretty green ourselves, Chimi and I both admire Bob a great deal. Along with reading his Eye magazine columns and watching him on TV, I bought his book 2030: Confronting Thermagedon and watched a biography on him.

Chimi tells me how in 2004, Dr. Hui helped Bob, who was suffering greatly, by referring him to a Mexican naturopathic clinic. There he received an array of treatments that brought his pain to much more bearable levels. Back at home, Bob continued with his regimen of meditation, diet and supplements started at the clinic, and was able to get on with his life.

Our instant messenger conversation winds down, and I'm pretty amazed with Chimi's coincidences, especially how Dr. Hui had offered to help anyone in Chimi's family with shingles, and then her grandmother got shingles right after that. I tell her I would put it in the blog for sure. We say bye and go back to our daily business.

A few minutes later, Chimi messages me. She tells me that she just read that Bob Hunter passed away due to his prostate cancer.

About a week later, I get off the Queen streetcar at Spadina on my way to work. Squarely in front of me on the sidewalk, about 10 feet wide, professionally stencilled out in large black capital letters on the sidewalk, is:


BOB HUNTER
1941-2005
PLANETARIAN


Dr. Hui
Bob Hunter
"Not without a fight"

2 Comments:

Blogger hsv668 said...

Hello JT, I am frequently astonished at how many people simply disregard all the warnings about STD's. If one recollects about how long the warnings regarding general STD's have been around, and how fast they are disseminating, particularly in the third world, and that is not even not even mentioning what cause genital herpes, then the value of sites like Doctors and Planetarians become obvious. The proliferation of STD's such as what cause genital herpes must be stopped. Just my two cents worth. Keep up the good work I enjoyed your site and will check it again soon.

12:03 AM  
Blogger hsv667 said...

Hello JT, I am always bewildered at how many people simply dismiss all the sexuually transmitted diseases about STD's. If one imagines about how long the warnings regarding general STD's have been around, and how fast they are spreading, particularly in the africa, and that is not even not even citing herpes in the mouth, then the value of sites like Doctors and Planetarians become obvious. The proliferation of STD's such as herpes in the mouth must be stopped. Just my two cents worth. Keep up the good work I enjoyed your site and will check it again soon.

1:36 AM  

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