Here's wishing that things get back to more normal for you, Rita. Glad to hear Bunky is making steps in his recovery. If they're baby steps that's OK too. Thanks to your family, Thanksgiving was less bleak than it could have been at such a time. Our kids both had painful ear infections until our pediatrician friend came up with a novel (to us) idea. He tested the gamma globulin levels when the infections occurred and found them below minimums. He then medicated for low GG, and the pain and infections were gone within a day - every time, and with one child there was no recurrence. All this was after several painful episodes, and even a visit to Lendon Smith in Portland. He's a Little Baby Doctor who writes books and has, IMHO, little to offer. Ah, the VanHuss turkey was baked, albeit on a gas barbecue out on the patio. It was a beautiful day, and we didn't have to contend with waste oil. The turkey turned out better that [I] expected, and it was a most traditional meal, without Southern embellishments. ________________________________ From: "MomMamiya7@xxxxxxx" <MomMamiya7@xxxxxxx> To: f4@xxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Thu, November 25, 2010 10:35:45 PM Subject: Thanksgiving Day, 2010 Hello, dear friends. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving ... ours was "different." First time in twenty-eight years that I didn't do the meal. Bunky was released from Rehab just this past Monday, and his travel is restricted, so we didn't accept invites from either of our daughters. We were invited to our neighbor's (Marc and Angela) house, and were going to eat there, but at 9:15 AM there was a hard, loud, almost frantic knock at the door. I was in the kitchen putting food out for the cats, and went down to find Angela standing outside. She came in to tell me that she'd been up all night with their son, A.J., who had developed an ear infection and was running a temperature of 105 degrees. She looked exhausted, telling me she felt guilty because AJ wouldn't cry from the pain because he thought it would upset her. She'd had major ear problems as a child, and was plagued by excruciating pain ... she believed AJ was suffering as she had, but wouldn't show it. The little boy is five years old, and I told her that if he was truly suffering as she had, she'd know it ... he'd be screaming his head off. I explained to her that AJ's pain may NOT be as severe as her pain had been because he had a gene from Marc, which could lessen it. First, I explained how it worked, and then I did my good deed for the day and came up and printed out two copies of the following paper so she could take it home and show Marc. She was really relieved to read the info, and said it explained why AJ had been so good at the doctor's office, when it would have taken four people to hold her down. Before leaving, she told me she found our home "relaxing" and she felt better knowing that AJ was probably not suffering as she had. Around 1:30 PM, Angela's mother came to the door with a huge covered Corning Ware dish, filled with our Thanksgiving dinner. We ate around 5 PM ... it was delicious, but I missed the smell of turkey in our home and actually missed my own cooking ... think it's because my holidays meals taste like my Mom's. It was just as well we didn't go, because Bunky couldn't get comfortable on any of the chairs or couches in our living room, and the Lazy Boy in the bedroom is too sloped for him right now. Since it sits straighter and has arms, I took my "office chair" into the bedroom and he seems OK with that, as well as the chairs in the dining room. Daughter Rita and her family, along with my sister, stopped by about 7 PM on their way home from Jeff's Mom's house in central NJ and brought dessert. They stayed for about an hour, so at least we got to see them for a little bit. In all, it was a weird day but we got through it ... at least the turkey was roasted, not fried. That does sound grotesque, Dave ... did you eat any of it? For those interested, enjoy the following article, especially if you're a "cry-baby" when it comes to pain. ;-) Rita Whether you can grin and bear pain is in your genes By Lauran Neergaard Associated Press WASHINGTON - When it comes to pain, people can be wimps, stoics, or somewhere in between. Now, scientists have found one reason - a variation in a single gene that shows stoics really can tolerate more pain. The discovery by University of Michigan neuroscientists emphasizes the need to customize pain treatment - and might even allow doctors to soon try predicting which patients will respond to a certain kind of medication. People's perceptions of pain are tremendously variable. A crushing blow to one person can be trivial to another; likewise, pain medication that helps one patient might do nothing for the next. The new research shows that how much you suffer is due at least partly to a gene that helps regulate how many natural painkillers, called endorphins, your body produces. The gene produces an enzyme called COMT that metabolizes the brain chemical dopamine, which acts as a signal messenger among brain cells. All people have two copies of this gene, one inherited from each parent - but they can inherit forms that differ by one amino acid. The COMT gene that contains the amino acid methionine, or met, is less active than if it contained the amino acid valine, or val. Researcher Jon-Kar Zubieta put 29 healthy young adults into brain-imaging PET scanners. He injected their jaw muscles with enough salt water to make them really ache, simulating a painful condition called temporomandibular joint syndrome, or TMJ. Zubieta measured how their brain cells reacted while the volunteer victims rated, every 15 seconds, how much they hurt during the 20-minute pain cycle. People who had two copies of the val-COMT gene were stoics. They withstood significantly greater saline doses than other volunteers while rating the resulting pain as less bothersome, Zubieta reported in last Friday's issue of the journal Science. The PET scans verified that response: Painkilling endorphins were much more active in these people's brains. In contrast, people with two copies of the met-COMT gene suffered the most pain from the smallest saline injections - and had far less natural-painkiller action. People who inherited both a met and val gene copy tolerated pain at levels between the two extremes. A quarter of the U.S. population carries the "stoic" gene variation, while another quarter has the gene variant that makes them super-sensitive to pain, Zubieta estimates. Posted on Mon, Feb. 24, 2003 © 2003 Philadelphia Inquirer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.