Tag Archives: hope.

Patience! Intelligence! Speed!

I grew up watching Doug, a Nickelodeon cartoon about a boy named ‘Doug,’ who was incredibly imaginative, wrote everything in his journal, and lived as himself. I loved the show, but my little brother was enamored of it. We could never figure out why, because it was just so weird.

Then my father, in a completely unique fit of observation, realized something about Doug. He’s left-handed.

You see, my brother is ambidextrous, which means he is adept at using both of his hands. However adept he may have been, my brother was always more likely to use his left hand for anything that he might need. With only 10% of the population being southpaws, it wasn’t very likely that you would see a lefty cartoon role model on the tv.

Brother didn’t really seem to realize it, but he had honed in on a boy like himself, imaginative and distractable, with a histrionic sister (I’m nothing if not somewhat honest), and who used both of his hands, but wrote and ate with his left.

Doug painting with the left.

Doug gaming with the right.

Doug used whichever hand was more comfortable for him and for the activity. When Doug used his right hand, it was usually during times that he had to interact with righties more directly, such as during sports or games that are usually designed for righties. I’ve observed the same behavior from many other lefties.

For some reason, my family attracts them like none-other. My maternal grandmother is a southpaw; my paternal grandmother was until she was forced to learn to be right-handed. My father’s difficulties with handwriting and thought patterns have often made me wonder if he might’ve been born a leftie as well.  I’m right-handed, but I married a southpaw. One of his brother’s is also a leftie, but that brother’s twin is a rightie.

Half of my friends and my mother’s friends are lefties. That is a very unusual occurrence considering the statistics.

The world being built for righties, and the fact that there is still some superstition surrounding the development of left-handed traits, has forced many left-handers to be ambidextrous just to function. My husband writes leftie, directs music leftie, eats, leftie, but often throws right. He bowls ambidextrous unless he’s competing, then he attempts to stick to one hand or the other (most often right if he doesn’t have his own ball, which is designed for a leftie). He shoots paintball rightie, but shoots arrows with his left hand.

I’m in awe of his flexibility with it all. I get frustrated if clothing is designed an inch too short for me, but he and my brother, and my grandmothers, and so many of my friends were born into a world that is designed to work against their natures.

It’s like I have my own personal Quailmen running around.

Patience! Intelligence! Speed!


Functionally Cured Is Still Cured.

Hallelu and praise be to Deity, because functionally cured is still fucking cured!

This article from Southern California Public Radio and this article found on Yahoo discuss a miracle: a cured AIDS patient. This man suffered from HIV for years, and then developed leukemia, which is a cancer of blood and bone marrow. The leukemia was a separate condition from the HIV, but the treatment for leukemia is often chemotherapy or radiation therapy, both of which are designed to kill the immune system, which is, of course, the way that HIV turns into AIDS.

This man was freaking screwed.

Bone marrow transplants are also used to treat leukemia, but the prep for that is also killing the immune system, so that the body won’t reject and attack the new marrow. The procedure is very dangerous, and the result can actually kill the patient. Unfortunately, because Timothy’s leukemia wouldn’t stay in remission, he was forced to consider and then have a transplant. After two transplants, it not only put his leukemia into remission, it also seems to have cured his HIV.

Brown was lucky. His doctors specifically sought out a donor who would be a good match as well as having the markers for being resistant/immune to HIV. The donor was found and was willing to give not once, but twice (at least).

This is not going to be an option for everyone. The chances of finding available donors, who can make decent enough matches for patients as well as being immune to HIV, for most HIV patients are crazy slim. Chances are the procedure itself could actually kill many of the patients if someone was to attempt performing it on others. Further compromising the immune systems of patients who already suffer from AIDS or low T-cell counts is extremely risky. And even if a good match with the right immunity markers is found, and the patient survives the compromised immune system, there is always the chance of the body rejecting the transplant.

However.

However.

However.

We now have hope that something can be done about this virus and accompanying syndrome. We have a new path, or at least some new light on the paths we may have already been exploring. We need to be supporting this.

My husband pointed out earlier that the transplant has also been referred to as a ‘blood stem cell’ transplant. He and I both worry that people won’t understand what that means, because in the USA, people often equate stem cells to aborted fetal cells, which is simply not the case. Stem cells are just cells that don’t really have specific purpose outside of renewal, replacement, or reparation unless they are manipulated into becoming another kind of cell. You can pretty much find them in most of the systems in your body.

I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to Timothy Brown and his doctors for the success of the treatment. Timothy is 20 months cured, but lets all hope that it is permanent!


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