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NOSTALGIA AND NUTRITION How to get the most from your doctor

national health journal • feb 77.$1
How to get the most
from your doctor
Understanding and caring
for restored teeth
Fiber-victim of progress
LIFE AND HEALTH answers questions on
family care, the high cost of living, food and
nutrition, exercise, and a way of life that
can keep you happy and healthy longer.
The $8.00 you spend today on LIFE AND
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ood health is for me!
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expires August 31, 1977
national health journal
Assistant Editor
Editorial Associate
Editorial Secretary
Braille Editor
Circulation Manager
Medical Consultant
93rd Year of Publication
Volume 92, Number 2
February, 1977
R. J. Wassersug, Ph.D.,
J. D. Wassersug, M.D.
How to get the most from your doctor
. . . by really trying.
Vivian Buchan
The lefties are left out
could use recognition.
William Carl, D.D.S.
Understanding and caring for restored teeth
know enough about your new teeth?
Rose Stoia, R.D.
Nostalgia and nutrition
great—or was it?
An oppressed group that
Do you
In the good old days, food was
A warm story of a crow,
Carsten Ahrens
In the twinkling of a crow
a man, and their friendship.
Gary W. Langston,
Fiber—victim of progress What is the role of fiber in
your diet? Are you deprived?
Ruth Jaeger Buntain
Pale faces, pounding hearts
and negative reactions.
Beatrice Levin
For Valentines: one heart
Better Life
Fear can create positive
A meaningful gift of love.
Q Man and His Spirit
U A matter of self-esteem
q The Undaunted
A Soaring wings
OBJECTIVE: A family magazine featuring
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LIFE AND HEALTH is published monthly
and copyrighted В© 1976 by the Review
and Herald Publishing Association, 6856
Eastern Avenue NW., Washington, D.C.
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Patent Office.
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u Quotes
Everybody's drug problem
Consumers spend almost $9 billion every year on medicines
that don't always give better health. According to the Food
and Drug Administration, we have a major drug problem that
stems from the misuse or excessive use of medicines. The
FDA offers this advice: Don't buy medicine every time you
don't feel well.
Don't mix different drugs together without knowing
whether you might have an unfavorable reaction. Medicines
may lose or increase their strength as time passes, so don't
feel that the largest size is the best buy. And if you buy overthe-counter drugs, read the label first; also ask your pharmacist's advice, he may direct you to a lower-priced brand than
the one you chose.
Everybody's Money, Winter, 1975-1976, vol. 15, No. 4.
"It looks like virus X all right."
other foods (usually under social or commercial pressures)
may be a contributor to obesity.
Although he does not recommend use of solid foods during
the first three months, Dr. Myron Winick, director of the
Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition, says that
they should be started after four or five months, or else growth
rate falls off.
Weight Watchers magazine, October, 1976, quoting the New York Times.
Obesity starts early
A study of 130 infants by a team of pediatricians at Johns
Hopkins University presented to the American Public Health
Association by David M. Paige, M.D., showed that at the age
of two months, 97 per cent of the infants were receiving cereal
and 70 per cent strained fruit.
On the average, the infants were consuming 29 per cent
more calories than the recommended daily allowance. The
researchers noted that breast milk, milk, or formula will
adequately supply the dietary needs of infants, and the use of
Did you know?
"A survey released in 1975
by the U.S. Department of
Health, Education, and Welfare reveals that the average
American father of a subteen-age child sees his offspring 12 1/2 minutes daily,"
said Dr. James Chesbro, a
professor of speech at Temple University, Philadelphia,
A smile a day
A fine is a tax for doing
wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
Sign on office bulletin
"In case of fire don't panic.
Simply flee the building with
the same reckless abandon
that occurs each day at quitting time."
Change of address
According to a new policy
of the U.S. Postal Service, undelivered issues of periodicals cannot be forwarded to
new addresses. Issues returned to the publishers are
charged a fee of 25 cents per
copy. Therefore, if you are
moving, it is important for
you to send us your new
"This could hardly be
called the basis for meaningtul communication," he said.
"Compare this pathetic
12 1/2 minutes with the hours
this same child spends
watching TV and you'll begin
to realize how little true communication there is among
members of the average
American nuclear family today," he said.
Temple University, Philadelphia,
At an interview on his 100th
birthday a man was asked,
"To what do you attribute
your good health and long
"Don't know yet," he replied. "I'm still negotiating
with a breakfast cereal company and a vitamin manufacturer."
4 t, Focus 4ark
What's vegetable oil?
American consumers will
soon be able to determine
the specific types of vegetable oils used in shortenings
and other foods, as the result
of a new labeling regulation
of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The new regulation will
allow persons on low-saturated-fat diets to avoid consuming some foods containing tropical vegetable oils,
which are excluded from
their diets because of the
high-saturated-fat content.
These oils—namely palm
oil, coconut oil, and palmkernel oil—have a saturatedfat content similar to lard. But
until now, regulations have
allowed food processors to
use them in many foods and
identify them only as "vegetable oil" on the label.
The imported tropical oils
have saturated-fat contents
ranging from 52 per cent to
92 per cent. This compares to
14 per cent for soybean oil,
the most widely used oil in
U.S. food processing.
The push for better label-
ing on foods containing edible oils has come at a time
when U.S. imports and consumption of tropical vegetable oils are rapidly increasing. Palm-oil consumption
in 1975, for example, was
more than double the
amount consumed in 1974.
A large portion of the imported palm oil has gone into
shortening production, replacing soybean oil and other
U.S.-produced oils.
The FDA regulation goes
into effect on January 1, 1978.
When they say he's a
"born executive," they mean
his father owns the business.
address immediately, allowing about five weeks from
the approximate time you
expect to receive your mail
at the new address. Incidentally, should any issue
not arrive to you as usual,
kindly notify us so we can
replace any missing number
E. M. Peterson
Circulation Manager
By Audrey Kastris
The thing about a broken leg
And walking with a crutch
Is just when you get good at it
It's time to give it up.
illealth highlights1
Healthy snacking
Weight Watchers magazine has suggested several
alternatives to sweets for the
obese, those watching their
banana, mashed) and 1/4
cup evaporated, chilled
skimmed milk. Whip until frothy."
Weight Watchers magazine,
October, 1976.
a hand-controlled batterypowered transmitter that
triggers the impulse.
Dr. Seymour Kilstein, a
urologist and urologic surgeon, has implanted the
pacemaker in several patients. Without the device,
people with impaired bladder function must be catheterized at least four times a
day, an uncomfortable,
time-consuming, and expensive procedure.
Babies and foot health
intake of sugars, and simply
for the health conscious.
* "Celery or chopped lettuce makes a crunchy,
easy to carry treat.
* "Dehydrated
such as vacuum-dried
apples, are also good
* "Fresh fruit is a perfect
pick-me-up. An apple,
for example, is crunchy
and contains nature's
own sweetness.
* "Dietary dessert makes a
refreshing substitute for
ice cream.
* "Dietetic sodas come in
a wide variety of flavors,
are sweet to the taste,
and filling.
* "'Milk
shake'—combine 3/4 cup of skim
milk with 3/4 cup of
dietetic soda and ice
cubes in a blender.
* "'Egg cream'—put two
tablespoons and two teaspoons of nonfat dry milk
in a glass. Add 3/4 cup
dietetic soda and stir.
* "Summer
combine your favorite
fresh fruit (1/2 cup of
blueberries, or two small
plums, or 1 medium
Help may be available for
those who suffer from
chronic back pain. An electronic device called a transcutaneous stimulator can
block pain impulses by electronically immobilizing that
portion of the brain controlling pain.
Dr. Allan R. Crosby, a Wisconsin osteopathic physician, used the device on himself when a plane crash left
him with seven fractured ribs
and a cracked sternum right
before a major speaking engagement.
"It's like electronic acupuncture," said Dr. Crosby.
One of the advantages of this
method is that the pain can
be controlled without heavy
doses of narcotics or other
Bladder pacemaker
A pacemaker that has nothing to do with heart function
stimulated the bladder to
contract and empty by means
of a small device implanted in
the patient's abdomen and
The softness of the infant's
feet in the first twelve
months, combined with the
rapid-growth process at this
time, makes it possible for
certain foot deformities to
develop if cautions are not
observed, said Dr. Edwin J.
Harris, staff pediatric consultant at the Illinois College
of Podiatric Medicine.
Dr. Harris lists five basic
rules to follow to aid in
proper foot and leg development:
* Don't bind the bed covers over baby's feet, as
this restricts movement
and can retard growth.
* Allow the child to lie
uncovered by sheets and
blankets for some time
each day so that he has
an opportunity to kick
and strengthen the feet
and legs.
* Change baby's position
several times during the
day, as lying in one position can put excessive
strain on the feet and legs
and can cause deformities.
* Don't carry your baby
on your hip or back, as
the child's feet will be
forced out of proper position.
* Practice preventive podiatry by having your
child's feet checked annually so that any maladies will receive early
Hire a community
Mound City, Kansas,
hadn't had a doctor since
1963. So residents raised
enough money to help Garret
Duckworth complete his
education at the Kansas
School of Osteopathic Medicine and subjected their potential candidate to merciless
grilling about his personal
life-style. The town and the
doctor meshed; today Dr.
Duckworth happily practices
in Mound City.
La Cygne, a nearby community, was so impressed
with the results that a similar
program has been instituted.
Dr. Duckworth is helping
La Cygne residents find their
Focus Silt
Astronaut food
While three square meals
a day are taken for granted by
most Americans, getting
even one balanced meal each
day is a problem for some of
the nation's elderly.
Food technology and packaging techniques developed
by the NASA Johnson Space
Center, Houston, Texas, to
feed Apollo and Skylab crews
during space flight are being
applied in a pilot program to
help provide balanced meals
to the elderly who live alone.
and biomedical engineers at
the center work together to
design and develop a meal
system to supplement the
existing National Nutrition
Programs for the Elderly.
Surveys have shown, said
Project Engineer Gary R.
Primeaux, that many elderly
Americans do not receive
adequate nutrition because
of a lack of single-serving
products, limited mobility,
loss of skills needed to prepare balanced meals, limited
finances, and often a sense
of loneliness or rejection
that reduces the incentive to
cook and eat nutritious meals
Programs for home-delivered hot lunches for the
elderly are being tried in
several cities, however, there
is usually no weekend service
and the spoilage risk is high.
The NASA team developing
the meal system is striving to
come up with a shelf-stable,
multimeal package that can
be distributed by several
methods—even parcel post
—to senior citizens who live
beyond the range of hotmeal delivery.
The program is expected
to cost $240,000, of which
NASA will fund $125,000;
Johnson School of Public
Affairs, $90,000; Texas Research Institute of Mental
Sciences, $8,000; and United
Action for the Elderly, Inc.,
Write away
Eye information
The American Optometric
Association has released two
pamphlets on visual care for
children, and has a number
of others available on eye
disease, vision care for people over 50, and so on.
One of the pamphlets for
parents is "Check Your
Child's Vision," and the
other is "Your Baby's
Eyes." Each gives a helpful list
of signs and symptoms to
look for in determining a
child's visual well-being.
Both of these pamphlets
and others on such topics as
glaucoma and far-sightedness are available for free by
sending a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to: Public Information Division,
American Optometric AssoChippewa
Street, St. Louis, MO 63119.
"Doctor, Do I Have Arthritis?" is the title of a short
pamphlet answering questions about arthritis. It is distributed, free of charge, by
Eli Lilly and Company, Dept.
MC339, 307 East McCarty
Street, Indianapolis, Indiana
By Richard J. Wassersug, Ph.D., and Joseph D. Wassersug, M.D.
A bit of intelligent forethought can make your visit to the doctor more effective.
'll never go back to Dr. Alexander,"
I Mrs. Morrissey complained. "It's
the last time. He didn't seem to listen at all and rushed me out after I
waited almost two hours to see him. I
never even got around to mentioning
the headache I had last weekend. He
gave me a prescription for my stomach and told me to come back next
Mrs. Morrissey's frustrating experience with her doctor may not
have been solely his fault. All doctors are busy these days, and it is increasingly difficult to keep all patients
satisfied, even if the doctor tries his
The relationship between doctor
and patient should be two way. Perhaps Dr. Alexander failed to listen to
Mrs. Morrissey, or perhaps she failed
to present her problems clearly and
What does the doctor need to
know? In the initial interview the
doctor needs to know as much as possible about you, as it relates to your
ailments. This is the medical history,
and although informal and brief it is
the first step at arriving at a diagnosis.
The sooner a correct diagnosis, the
quicker we can get effective therapy.
The second step toward a diagnosis
is a physical examination.
Pertinent, reliable laboratory tests
constitute the third step.
Skillful medical history can sometimes be more diagnostic than the
subsequent examination or the battery of laboratory tests that is so impressive. An experienced internist
may have his younger associate give
the medical examination but continue
to take his own medical histories. He
quite likely may learn more about the
patient from the history than from
the examination.
Keep the medical history simple—
pains and aches should be described
to the best of your ability, but suggestions as to underlying causes should
be avoided. If you can point out the
painful area, that is most helpful.
Your interpretation of what and why
You might consider your
doctor as a medical
detective—give some
helpful clues.
it hurts may mislead the doctor.
There is a natural phenomenon
called referred pain, in which a deep
organ that is sore or injured "refers"
its pain to some other region of the
body. Appendicitis is an example.
Here pain is felt in the center of the
abdomen rather than on the right side
near the infected appendix. The patient who insists the pain originates
deep in the middle of the belly could
hinder diagnosis.
It is all too easy to self-diagnose.
Hardly ever does a gout patient come
to a doctor without some history
(retrospectively) of having stubbed or
injured his toe. The patient never
thought of gout as a possibility.
PracFacing up to the problem
tically no one, even doctors, can face
the early acceptance of a serious personal disorder. Studies made on physicians having heart attacks show that
the doctor's initial reaction to the
pain is both that of anxiety and rejection. The first self-diagnosis is
"ulcer," "indigestion," or "gallbladder attack." Even a heart specialist
may fail to interpret his own symptoms properly.
Youngsters around 11, said one
physician, are old enough to speak
their mind but young enough to give
an accurate, unembellished description of their ills. Older patients
come to the doctor with their symptoms, fears, anxiety, false rationalizations, and interpretations. However, most doctors understand this
when they take the medical history.
Misunderstandings between doctor
and patient can be alleviated with a
little forethought. Older, forgetful
patients can bring a younger relative to help recall the doctor's orders
later. A language problem can be
solved with a skilled interpreter,
preferably a bilingual member of the
patient's family.
Further misunderstandings may
arise when the patient tries to describe the medicines being taken. If
you are going to the doctor for the
first time, be sure to take all your
medicines with you. This avoids confusion.
For example, Aldomet is not Aldoril nor Aldactone. Medicines that
sound somewhat alike may be far different in their action. Some that
sound different are identical, varying
only with their trade names. Valdol is
Tylenol is Dularin is Neotrend, and
so on. All are different brands of
acetaminophen, a mild pain remedy.
Medicines may also be of distinctive
color or shape, helping the doctor to
identify them.
Keep your medicine in the bottle
just as it was dispensed by the pharmacist. Prescription bottles give the
doctor information on dosage and
how often the drugs are taken.
Should the doctor change medicines,
he can make a better judgment by
noticing just how many of the old
tablets or capsules are still in the bottle. Or he may let you finish the old
prescription before changing, saving
you money. And there is less chance
of a serious, accidental mix-up of
What will the doctor ask?
Before you make your visit think about
what questions the doctor might ask.
There are several ways he may direct
his questions: for example, the
method called "chief complaint," or
"What's bothering you most?"; the
"problem-orientation," or "What
are your problems—one, two, three?"
But no matter what the approach,
the doctor will ask: Where does it
hurt? and How long? He may ask for
a history of the development of the
pain or illness; for example: "Did it
start with a head cold or a sore
throat?" "Was it accompanied by
chest pain?"
Foreign travel and other
environmental factors can
be important clues to
your illness.
As best you can, try to remember
how your symptoms started and how
they progressed before you try to tell
the doctor the problem.
It also pays to think about your
family tree before going to the doctor. Some diseases such as gout, diabetes, asthma, to name a few, are inherited. If you know that your father
and two of your aunts have or had
diabetes, tell the doctor. If you know
that your mother suffered from severe migraine headaches until her
menopause, the doctor will be interested. Some older relative may remember family-related diseases you
don't know about.
Job-related illness
If there are
special hazards related to your job,
tell the doctor. A coal miner might
suffer from "black lung," a pipe
coverer, from asbestosis. Strangely, if
you had been a welder working next
to a pipe coverer deep in the hold of a
ship, you might have asbestosis, too,
having inhaled asbestos from the
sheets used to cover pipes. Working
in granite quarries or granite sheds
might give you silicosis.
What is true of occupational hazards is also true of your total environment. Foreign travel may expose you
to diseases unfamiliar to your home
area. Cases are commonly reported in
medical journals where persons have
amoebic abscesses of the liver, echinococcus cysts of the lung, malaria, and
so on.
The infections acquired in foreign
countries may remain dormant for
years, and then show up mysteriously
later. Tell the doctor of any out-ofthe-way places you may have visited.
The camping trip in Yucatan twelve
years ago may be responsible for your
bellyache today.
Not all doctors ask identical questions. Should you be consulting an
orthopedic surgeon, the inquiry will
be about your accidents, your boneand-joint injuries, your problems in
locomotion. A gynecologist will be
concerned with your pelvic complaints and the irregularity of your
There is a sharp line between telling the doctor all that is pertinent and
overdoing it. Someone who comes to
the doctor with a 12-page written
rГ©sumГ© probably has greater psychological than physical problems. However, psychiatrists may be able to
extract pertinent data from such a
mass of seeming irrelevancies.
Body language important
doctors watch patients and see what
gestures they use to describe their
discomfort. Even the tone of voice
offers clues.
Several good statistical studies in
hospitals have shown that a large
portion of the population fail to follow details of doctors' prescriptions.
Doctors know of these statistics. They
know patients often eat too much and
sometimes drink too much. The relationship between doctor and patient, however, must be based on
mutual trust and honesty.
The need for honest revelation is
always important, perhaps more so
when the basic problem is emotional.
An impending divorce can make almost anyone sick. A child on drugs
can drive any parent to the doctor. A
hostile or nagging boss can be more
harmful than an ulcer. If you recognize any such factors, you should report the circumstances to the doctor.
No physician wants a patient like
Mrs. Morrissey to be dissatisfied
with the attention or care that she gets
in his or her office. Most doctors
want to get along with the patients
they serve. Most patients want to
like their doctors. It takes only a little effort and a little preparation to
get the most, and the best, from your
Soaring wings
By Doris Nelson
I n 1946, Minnesota suffered the
worst polio epidemic in its history. All through the summer months
newspapers listed the number of new
cases and deaths each day. The totals
numbered in the hundreds. All
beaches were closed. Even the grand,
exciting Minnesota State Fair was canceled to prevent the epidemic from
spreading. People were urged to stay
away from large gatherings. Still it
raged on.
Two floors of the contagion department at County Hospital were filled
with polio patients. Iron lungs
pumped on day and night. In spite
of the precautions, the epidemic
didn't begin to diminish until late
September. It was then that my 18month-old niece, Kathy, was taken to
the hospital, her right arm paralyzed.
Two days later she was in an iron lung.
One week later I woke in the middle
of the night with a stiff back and a severe headache. I was frightened, but
when I tried to touch my chin to my
chest and couldn't—I was terrified.
The next day my family drove me to
the hospital to confirm or rule out the
possibility of polio. The spinal tap
was positive. I had poliomyelitis. "Just
a mild case, I'm sure," encouraged the
kind, young intern in the admitting
He was wrong. Twenty-four hours
later I was totally paralyzed and in an
iron lung. The paralysis had come on
suddenly, starting in my legs and moving upward until my whole body was
immobile. My breathing became
more and more difficult and finally
impossible. I gave up the struggle and
welcomed death.
Suddenly, the whirring of a motor
and a deep breath made me realize I
was in an iron lung and alive. I
wanted to laugh out loud, but instead
I smiled up into the mirror above my
head at the reflection of my mother,
who was standing in the doorway.
Next the nurse turned my head to
where Kathy lay, in the iron lung next
to me.
Nothing in my twenty-one carefree years of living had prepared me for
a traumatic experience like this. The
following days were a nightmare.
With a high fever, triple vision, and
inability to move, I fought for my
life. I repeated the twenty-third
psalm to myself as I lay there, too weak
to speak aloud. But after two long
weeks I was off the critical list and out
of quarantine, although still completely paralyzed except for a slight
movement in my left hand and right
I lived
in continual fear that the iron lung
would malfunction or the electric
power fail. The special-duty nurses by
my side twenty-four hours a day were
compassionate sentinels, answering
kindly my barrage of questions concerning my recovery—but I wanted
the truth.
One day a very young, dedicated
nurse gave me a straight answer.
"Doris," she said seriously, "the polio
virus attacks the cells in the central
nervous system. The motor nerves
pass through these cells from the brain
to the muscle. The paralysis depends
on the extent of the damage that ocWhat were my chances?
curs in these cells. Only time will
tell." I had my answer, but I felt terribly depressed.
Somehow I had to strengthen my
breathing muscles again. "Keep on
trying, a few minutes at a time,"
everyone urged. A large pocket watch
was hung on my iron lung to encourage me to push myself a little longer
each time. Two minutes were an eternity. By the time they ticked by, the
whole room was throbbing in my head.
George, another polio patient, said,
"If you can make it up to five minutes,
it will get easier."
"O.K.," I announced, "five minutes is my goal."
It seemed impossible. The second
hand on my pocket watch moved so
slowly. I wanted to smash it into a
million pieces. Someday, I thought.
After many months in the iron
lung, I felt like its prisoner. I just
couldn't bear it anymore. I cried and
I couldn't brush the tears away. I
prayed—pleading prayers, demanding prayers, bargaining prayers—but
it seemed that God had abandoned me.
Finally, in desperation I prayed, "God,
give me peace of mind and courage to
face life, whatever it is to be."
"One Year in an Iron Lung" was the
newspaper story about me. The other
polio patients had gone to rehabilitation centers—I was still at County
Hospital because I constantly needed
the iron lung. Kathy had recovered,
except for the paralysis in her right
arm, and returned home.
About this time the March of Dimes
provided me with a special nurse, who
was just great. She coaxed but never
forced; she praised but never scolded.
With her encouragement I was able
to take a breath deep enough to make
a whisper of sound without the iron
lung's help. I was overjoyed. Soon I
was being lifted onto a hospital bed
for 10 to 15 minutes a day. My breathing was still very labored—but I was
After many, many more months of
persistent effort, I was able to exist
without the iron lung for several hours.
I felt maybe I could make it at home.
I talked the idea over with my mother.
She said, "I'll buy an iron lung!" Now
I was torn between the longing to go
home and the fear of leaving the security of the hospital.
I made the decision and was home
for Christmas. After two years and
three months of drab hospital walls,
my home, decorated with a myriad of
twinkling lights and Christmas
decorations, seemed like a palace. The
aroma of home cooking drifted in
from the kitchen. Now I really knew
I was home.
After several months I faced my
first crisis. I caught a terrible chest
cold. Mother had to stand by my
iron lung all night, pushing on my
diaphragm to help me cough because
I didn't have enough strength to do it
myself. I had many penicillin shots,
but an old-fashioned remedy (an onion poultice on my chest) seemed to
help the most. Chest colds are still a
major problem.
It took a long time and many sacrifices on the part of my family before
my life at home began to run
smoothly. Since I couldn't keep busy
physically, I had to concentrate on
mental activity to prevent boredom.
I learned to use a mouthstick to turn
pages for reading and to write letters
on an electric typewriter. I sought out
more interesting TV programs and
encouraged friends to visit and bring
their friends. I took some correspondence courses and entered contests. And
so the days and the years passed.
Through the mirror on my iron
lung I have watched many seasons
come and go—the seasons of the year
and the seasons of life. The nieces and
nephews, who were so little the first
Christmas I returned from the hospital, are now married and have
youngsters of their own. Kathy does
too. My mother, whose image has
faithfully been reflected there always,
is now 87.
My once carefree, active life, full of
plans for marriage, a home, and family, was suddenly snatched away by a
virus so infinitesimal that scientists
had not detected it with a microscope
at that time. I have had a life of confinement to an iron lung, a hospital
bed, and a portable respirator. Somehow, through it all, I have endured,
not always on soaring wings but at
least above the level of despair. For
this I have to thank my family, my
friends, and my God.
From 1944 to 1955, 20,000 to
50,000 persons a year had polio in the
United States. Then in 1955 Salk
vaccine became available. In 1974
there were only seven reported cases.
But now that polio has just about
become extinct, a certain apathy has
developed concerning the disease.
"What's polio?" people ask. This is
probably the reason that only 64.9 per
cent of the population under 19 has
received the required dose of polio vaccine. The new vaccine, trivalent, is
administered in three doses at twomonth intervals. Each dose consists
of two drops, and several boosters are
recommended—a very small precaution for a serious threat to life. &
By Vivian Buchan
left-handed child is one of about 20 million
people.coping with a right-handed society. Very little
attention has been given to this minority group, which
constitutes some 8 to 10 per cent of the world's population. It deserves both attention and understanding.
Coercing a left-handed child to use his right hand
creates emotional and physical problems far more serious
than the frustrations encountered in using right-handed
Dr. Bryng Bryngelson, a University of Minnesota
speech pathologist, spent forty years studying the link
between handedness and speech disorders. He learned
that ambidexterity training can be disastrous.
"Man's neural systems work best when one side strictly
dominates the other," he said. "Everyone has a native
side, dictated by the brain. In left-handed people, the
right cerebral hemisphere takes the lead in directing functions like speaking, writing, and reading. In righthanded people, the left hemisphere is dominant.
"Trying to shift your child's handedness can lead to
stuttering, squinting, bed-wetting, and emotional maladjustments," he said. "Leave the left-handed child alone"
is his advice.
Although a right-hander himself, Dr. Bryngelson
invented the "pull-method" of writing whereby a lefthanded child is taught to slant his paper to the right
side and hold his left hand below the line as he writes.
This keeps him from rubbing his hand over what he's
written, and smearing it.
I mentioned to one teacher, "I see you have some lefthanders in your class." The teacher looked around and
said, "Where? I didn't know I had any."
The teacher, who had been with the children for almost
a whole term, had not noticed the problems her lefthanded pupils were having. Undoubtedly, the frustrations
they were experiencing were greater than they realized
themselves and might have been alleviated by an observant
Left-handers not only cope with
products designed for right-handers but have difficulty
learning skills. Scissors, can openers, pencil sharpeners,
corkscrews, wrist watches, cameras, sewing machines, and
musical instruments are difficult to handle. Even something
as trivial as opening a chewing-gum wrapper creates
A left-hander trying to learn to knit, weave, crochet,
or sew would find it difficult—directions are for righthanders.
Frustrating as all of this is, the more serious problem
is fitting the left-hander into a profession. A lawyer
told me recently, "I wouldn't hire a left-handed secretary.
Everything in my office is laid out for right-handed typists,
bookkeepers, and my colleagues. It would mean a complete rearrangement of everything for that one woman
and a handicap to the others."
Realizing that left-handedness does create problems in
many types of work, the Human Engineering Laboratory
in Chicago considers this in evaluating native aptitudes
and guiding people into careers.
It was once thought that handedness was determined
by eyedness, but this theory was disproved by the Family
Economics Bureau. It was learned that earedness, footedness, and the whorls and patterns in the palms of the
Buy left-handed
hands must be put together in a composite to determine
the degree of handedness, whether it be right or left.
Counselors take this into consideration when they guide
people into careers. Not many athletes are left-handed
and far fewer are musicians and photographers. If you
have ever seen a left-hander playing a guitar, violin, cello,
or banjo, the instrument was either a special order from
the factory or was restrung to accommodate the musician.
The shutter release on all cameras is for right-handed
people, making it awkward to operate for the lefthander. Even sitting down to a meal causes problems for
left-handers. Everything has to be shifted from right
to left to avoid spilling food. And then they're constantly
bumping the elbow of the right-hander sitting next to
them if they don't coordinate their movements properly.
Despite these problems—leave your left-handed child
alone. Training such youngsters to use their right hand
creates emotional problems, because the brain is forced into
alien patterns. Their native sidedness is thrown out of
kilter. They confuse their right hand with their left,
so that if you ask them to raise the right hand, they'll be
apt to raise the left. In giving directions, they may say
"turn right" when they really mean "turn left," simply
because their brain is confused.
handed. This gave him a closer and more direct view
of the pitcher and the ball. Not only that, he had the
advantage of running a shorter distance to first base.
Dr. Bryngelson theorized that Babe had the same
advantage a right-handed batter would have if he could
run straight to third base instead of to first.
Until recently, left-handers wanting products designed
for them could get them from Anything Left Handed,
Ltd., in London, and the Left Hand Shop, 140 West
22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. But that left
millions of lefties out.
In 1971, Peter B. Neiman established a mail-order
business catering to left-handed people. He named his
business at 9 Rice Lane, Westport, CT 06880, Aristera
Organization because aristera in Greek means "left" as
well as "the best"—as in aristocrat. The catalog is sent
around the world. Fifty-five articles designed for lefthanded use include a left-handed ruler with the numbers
ascending to the left instead of to the right that's sent to
clients free of charge.
Left out though your lefty may feel—and be—it's
still far better to leave the left hand alone and help cope
with the frustrations and problems of being left-handed.
This is easier than coping with speech disorders, emotional
problems, or brain confusion.
So, if you or someone in your family is left-handed,
Babe had an advantage There's one place a lefthander has an advantage: playing baseball. Dr. Bryngelson unite and stand up for your lefts.
studied Babe Ruth during an afternoon double-header
in New York in 1931 when Babe hit five home runs.
Vivian Buchan has taught creative writing at the University
Between the games the doctor ran onto the diamond and
of Illinois and the University of Iowa. Now free-lancing full
asked Babe if he could test him for eyedness. Sure enough, time, she has had some 250 articles published during the
Babe's right eye was dominant, even though he hit leftpast four years.
and cari
for restored teeth
By William Carl, D.D.S.
erman Junker, a dental historian, described a gold-wire
splint used in approximately 2500
B.C. for stabilizing a loose lower
molar. Museums display specimens
of the simplest form of a fixed partial
denture, consisting of gold bands
around remaining teeth and the missing teeth supplied with carvings from
ivory or like material. They are believed to date from 400 to 500 B.C.
The science and art of restoring
teeth with prostheses that cannot be
readily removed by either patient or
dentist is called "fixed partial prosthodontics." A fixed prosthesis may be a
single crown, a bridge supplying one
or more missing teeth, or a splint
stabilizing loose teeth.
Modern fixed partial prosthodontics is the most sophisticated type
of dentistry. Its aims are several: the
correction of abnormal oral conditions; the restoration of part or all of
the chewing mechanism; the maintenance of that mechanism in a healthy
condition; and the prevention of
further injury to the mouth and its
A fixed prosthesis has to be carefully planned and constructed. If the
balance between mechanical and
biological values is not maintained,
irreversible harm can be done to the
teeth being restored and to the tissues
supporting them.
Only teeth that cannot be restored
by conservative means should have
crowns or other type cast restorations.
For example, teeth with large silver
amalgam fillings and teeth that have
lost much of their enamel structure
fall into that category. Teeth that need
extensive build-up to be made functional should also have cast-gold
restorations. Once root canal therapy
has been performed on a tooth, the
enamel becomes very brittle. A crown
is a good preventive restoration against
When a tooth needs a crown it must
first be prepared for it. This means
that a certain amount of enamel and
dentine has to be ground away. Highspeed instruments have taken much
of the labor and discomfort out of
this procedure, and once an impression has been made, most of the work
can be done outside of the mouth
(Fig. 1).
If you have lost one or two teeth
between other teeth, frequently a
Figure 1 Cross Section of Gold
Crown on Lower First Molar
1. Gold Crown
4. Margin
2. Prepared Part of Tooth 5. Dental Pulp
3. Contact Area
fixed bridge can be made to close the
gap. This is preferable to a removable
partial denture, which requires a metal
frame to be attached to teeth on the
other side of the mouth.
The segments of a fixed bridge are
called units. All of them are linked
together by solder joints that are in
the areas where teeth would normally
be in contact with each other. The
teeth that are being supplied by a fixed
bridge are called pontics. They attach
to retainers that, like a single crown,
fit accurately on prepared teeth on
either side of the gap (Fig. 2).
Crowns and
bridges for front teeth require different considerations. Since the
process of baking porcelain onto gold
has been perfected by modern dental
research, achieving matching esthetics
is no longer a great problem.
The new esthetics
Figure 2 A Four-Unit Fixed
Bridge for the Lower Jaw Supplying
Missing Second Premolar and First
1. Retainers
2. Pontics
3. Connectors
4. Abutment Teeth
A tooth that is to be restored with
a porcelain-to-gold bonded crown
needs, however, more reduction or
"grinding down" than one for an
all-gold crown. Enough enamel and
dentine have to be removed from the
front surface so that a layer of gold
about one-half millimeter thick and a
layer of porcelain of about one millimeter can be accommodated. Otherwise, it is impossible to match the
color and contour of the adjacent
teeth (Fig. 3).
Figure 3 Cross Section of Upper
Front Tooth With Bonded Porcelain
Veneer Crown
1. Porcelain
2. Gold Backing
3. Prepared Part of Tooth
The porcelain-bonded-to-metal
crown also requires a special type of
gold with a high platinum content.
The laboratory procedure is complicated and expensive. If artistically
done, however, the restoration will
match the natural teeth perfectly.
Shortly after your crown or bridge
has been inserted it should feel as if it
had always been part of you. The bite
should be comfortable and you should
be able to make all jaw movements
without interference of the new
prosthesis. The contour should be in
harmony with the other teeth, and
the margin where restoration and
the natural tooth joins must blend in
without step or catch. The metal must
be highly polished so that the gum
tissue, cheek, and tongue are not
irritated. You should be able to pass
dental floss through the contact areas
with light pressure. If the contact is
open, food impaction takes place.
Successful dental prostheses are made so that
they can be easily maintained. On
your final visit the dentist should
give you instructions in proper care.
But it is really up to you to protect
your investment. Regardless of how
well made the crown, there is always
a line of transition where the restoration and the tooth meet, even though
it may not be noticeable to the eye or
the sensitive tip of the tongue. The
margin is the most vulnerable area of
a restoration and, whether it is above
or below the gum line, must be kept
The best method of brushing I
know is the Bass technique. You
hold a soft toothbrush (I would suggest
"Oral B," 179 Pro-perio) at an angle
of about 45 degrees between the
teeth and the gum line and move it
horizontally along the row of teeth in
short strokes. That way the crevices
surrounding the teeth are kept clean
and deposition of plaque, marginal
breakdown, and gum disease are discouraged.
Many useful oral-hygiene aids are
now available. I always recommend
an interproximal brush to all my
crown and bridge patients. It can be
attached to a thin handle and allows
easy and efficient cleaning between
teeth and under bridges where it is
difficult to use dental floss (Fig. 4).
The success of dental treatment
hinges to a great extent on its maintenance, and the real price of dental
and oral health is proper hygiene. A
shiny gold crown is no guarantee
against decay or gum disease. In fact,
oral hygiene becomes more important,
because even our best techniques are
still very imperfect when compared
with the excellence of nature. To
make our teeth last a lifetime they
need help, from the dentist and especially from yourself.
Dr. William Carl is associate professor
in fixed prosthetics at the School of
Dentistry in Buffalo, New York. He also
serves as senior dental surgeon for cancer at Roswell Park Memorial Institute,
staff prosthodontist at the regional
center for maxillofacial prosthetics
and is a prosthodontic consultant for
J. Sutton Regan Cleft Palate Foundation.
Figure 4 Position and Movement of Brush in the Bass
Technique of Oral Hygiene
5, I,
a. Brush Moved in Short Horizontal Strokes
b. Brush Moved in Short Horizontal Strokes
Protect your investment
c. Brush Is Held at an Angle of About 45В°
d. Use of Interproximal Brush
Nostalgia and nutrition
By Rose Stoia, R.D.
ay back when, great-greatgrandma churned thick Jersey
cream into golden flakes of sweet butter to be spread on steaming-hot
bread. Your great-great-grandfather
cracked last fall's black walnuts for
the traditional black-walnut layer
cake. Pork and beans bubbled lazily
on the shiny, black stove top, and
the hearty aroma of strong, freshly
ground coffee filled the air. "Those
were the good old days," you say. "If
only . . ."
How natural to assume that such a
simple diet is far superior to today's
artificial food. How shocking to
discover what eating was really like
in the "good old days."
Our Pilgrim Fathers' menu was
often lean. According to an ancient
record, "They learned what tasty
dishes can be made of corn, beans, and
peas by boyling these all to pieces
into a broth." To this splendid meal
the Pilgrims, following Indian instructions, added bitter acorn "milk,"
a wild root called groundnut, yellow
pond lily roots gathered from mosquito infested swamps, and "lumps
of dowishe bread" from coarse corn
Governor William Bradford,
reporting the "Starving Time" in
early Jamestown, said they endured
"a miserable life for five days together, with only the parched grain
of maize." Later, Bradford reports
that a few grains of maize were "as
good as a feast," after three months
of subsisting on a few clams and
sparse groundnuts.
By the early 1700's many acres
of fertile land cleared for farming
could have offered ample food variety
for an adequate diet, but instead,
colonial farmers, nutritionally ignorant, grew foods that kept well
through the winter and provided "a
hearty meal." It was thought a waste
of labor and garden space to raise
greens and leafy vegetables, which
were not classified as "hearty" and
would not keep out of season. Peaches
rotted on the ground or became hog
food, because preserving methods
were either unknown or too expensive.
Salt became the most common
method of preserving food and was a
precious and expensive commodity.
Daniel Boone often staked his reputation as a frontiersman on his knack
for finding salt licks. Kentuckians
preferred salted meat, and generally
considered all fresh meat "unwholesome" because it was so often tainted.
Although summer provided a
variety of fruit and vegetables, eggs,
and a little milk, during most of
the year colonial farm families existed
on corn in several forms and on salt
pork. Winter's meager menu provided exaggerated amounts of sodium
and cholesterol, but scanty amounts
of vitamins C, D, E, and most minerals.
City dwellers had even greater
problems. In Boston's steaming
summers, Isaac Weld, of London,
wrote home that meat became tainted
in a day, that poultry should not be
killed until about four hours before
it was wanted, and that milk turned
one to two hours after it was taken
from the cow.
A 1798 recipe records one attempt
to keep milk from spoiling: "To make
a fine syllabub [drink) from the cow.
Sweeten a quart of cyder with double
refined sugar, grate nutmeg into it,
then milk your cow into your liquor,
when you have thus added what
quantity of milk you think proper,
pour half a pint or more, in proportion to the quantity of syllabub you
make, of the sweetest cream all over
Poverty, lack of knowledge, slow
and inadequate transportation, and
primitive farming practices promoted this limited diet in many
parts of early America. Even as late
as 1870 Laura Ingalls Wilder, describing a hungry winter in the Da-
This month's
kota Territory, told how she set beans
to cook for a supper of bean soup and
salt pork with white-flour biscuits.
She carefully added a large scoop of
baking soda to the beans and watched
it froth and foam. She didn't realize
she was destroying the family's best
source of B vitamins.
Laura also may not have realized
that her family had no good source
of vitamin C that winter. However,
in Florida, John Bartram, an eighteenth-century naturalist who toured
America, reported orange groves
so thick a man could not walk through
them. The ingenious Seminoles
sliced the top off the tart oranges,
made a hole down the center of the
fruit and filled it up with honey. After
letting this stand a bit, Bartram ate
one and labeled it "delicious."
As America established herself, a
time of plenty emerged for some.
In the 1790's George Washington at
Mount Vernon was famous for his
Christmas dinner menu. Promptly at
3:00 P.M. dinner was served in three
courses and on two tablecloths. The
bustling servants presented four
appetizers, three fish dishes, six entrees, seven vegetables, three relishes,
four kinds of pie, and five of puddings, cake, ice cream, fruit, nuts,
raisins, and wine. The meal and
toasts lasted until 9:00 P. M. , at which
point Mrs. Washington rose and
said, "The General always retires at
nine, and I usually precede him."
When Thomas Jefferson entered
the White House it was written that
"never before had such dinners been
given in the President's house . . ."
His superb banquets deftly prepared
by a French chef were occasionally
equaled but seldom excelled. One
feast offered:
Deviled Eggs With Anchovies
Small Green Onions
Sorrel Soup
Standing Ribs of Beef au Jus
Horseradish Sauce
Spinach Timbales
Scalloped Tomatoes
Small Roast Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese Pudding
Pots de Creme
Did all this fine eating ensure a
nutritionally sound diet and vibrantly
healthy people? It did not. Think
of the amount of food and cholesterol
the above menu offered, to say noth-
ing of the calories. During this
period dyspepsia (what colonials
called a multitude of stomach ailments) was universal, and obesity
was almost synonymous with wealth.
Fashion-minded fat ladies in desperation bought Allan's Anti-Fat, a "concentrated fluid extract of sea lichens."
Historian Clement Eaton accuses
grand Southern dinners as playing
a deciding role in the Civil War. He
suggests that several Southern generals performed poorly and sometimes missed battles completely
because of severe dyspepsia following huge meals.
Paradoxically, at this same time
and in the same cities, the poor often
existed on much less. A Philadelphia
canal laborer's large family in 1833
purchased mostly bread (as they had
no facilities nor fuel to bake their
own), a small quantity of meat,
one-half bushel of potatoes, a little
sugar, and about 3 pints of milk a
And how about the cuisine of the
glamorized American cowboy? "The
grub consisted of some [corn) meal
and salt. . . . That taller [tallow,
meat fat) mixed up with meal, water
and salt made good corn bread,"
reported one wizened Texan. "Taller
is mightly healing, and there's nothing like it to keep your stumick
greased-up and in good working orLIFE AND HEALTH-FEBRUARY 1977
This is the foundation for a good diet. Use
more of these and other foods as needed for
growth, activity, and desirable weight.
Use daily:
Protein group:
2 or more servings
Meats, fish, poultry, eggs, or cheese—with dry beans,
peas, nuts as alternates. Meat analogs can also be
utilized in this group.
Milk group:
Children-3 or more glasses milk
(smaller glasses for children under 8)
Teen-agers-4 or more glasses
Adults-2 or more glasses
Cheese, ice cream and other milk-made foods can
supply part of the milk. Fortified soy beverages
can also supply the needs in this group.
Vegetables and fruits:
4 or more servings
Include dark green or yellow vegetables, citrus fruit
or tomatoes.
Breads and cereals:
4 or more servings
Enriched or whole grain. Added milk improves nutritional values.
der." Sourdough and hardtack, the
sole bill of fare for most cowboys,
left much to be desired nutritionally.
America had everything—everything from seven-course dinners to
monotonous, greasy salt pork and
fried potatoes for weeks at a time;
from pompous wealthy to sallow poor;
from slave-served Southern plantation feasts to all hands dipped into
one bean pot in a claim shanty.
Americans had a variety of eating
habits, few of which were nutritionally wise.
All of this opened wide the door
for reformers, faddists, and prejudices. During the 1849 cholera
epidemic, the Chicago Journal condemned the city council at great
lengths for not forbidding the sale
of fresh produce, as many other cities
had already done. To "scientifically"
confirm the correlation between fresh
produce and cholera the Chicago
Daily Democrat of July 7, 1849,
featured a story of two boys who
"partook freely" of oranges and coconuts and then went to the circus. "In
a short time one was a corpse and the
other reduced to the last stage of the
cholera." 1
Pilgrim Edward Winslow doctored
dying Chief Massasoit by forcing
some jelly, "a confection of many
comfortable conserves," between his
clenched teeth. To everyone's amazement, especially Winslow's, the
chief sat up and asked Winslow for
some good English pottage. Early
American cookbooks of the late eighteenth century contributed curative
recipes. "Receipt for the Surrup
Watter good in a Consumption of
Jaundis to clear the Skin or Revive
ye spirits" contains such appetizing
ingredients as a peck of ground
garden snails (shells and all), a quart
of earthworms split and "scowered"
with salt, herbs, flowers, and four
gallons of the "strongest Ale you can
Tomatoes, an excellent source of
vitamin C, were called "love apples"
and were considered poison. Robert
Gibbon Johnson stood on the steps
of Salem County Courthouse in New
Jersey one day in 1820 and ate a whole
tomato before gasping spectators.
Egocentric and opinionated George
Bernard Shaw preached the gospel
of vegetarianism for purely philosophical reasons from his twenty-fifth
birthday until his ninety-fourth.
Fletcherism "chewed" its way across
America. "Nature will castigate
those who don't masticate," sang
Horace Fletcher while grinding each
mouthful thirty to forty times.
The age of "scientific eating"
spread across the ocean to America
between 1800 and 1916. It was nurtured by such men as Justus von
Liebig and G. J. Mulder. In America,
Graham instituted the use of unbolted
flour, Wilbur Atwater, professor
at Wesleyan University, analyzed
foods for their fat, carbohydrate, and
protein, and Prof. Louis Agassiz, of
Harvard, assured consumers that fish
was brain food. Mark Twain helped
propagate this idea to an enthusiastic
but untalented author: "Yes, Agassiz
does recommend authors to eat fish,
because the phosphorus in it makes
brains. So far you are correct. But I
cannot help you to a decision about
the amount you need to eat . . . at
least, with certainty. If the specimen
composition you send is about your
fair, usual average, I should judge
that perhaps a couple of whales would
be all you would want for the present." 2
In 1911 Casimir Funk, a Polish
chemist, discovered what he thought
was an amine vital to life. He labeled
it a vitamine. So emerged the now
celebrated vitamins. Since then a
virtual explosion of nutritional
knowledge has swept America. Nutritionists and biochemists discovered
the importance of daily consuming
controlled amounts of carbohydrate,
fat, and protein, plus almost fifty
vitamins and minerals in intricate
ratio to one another. Nationally available are pictorial nutrition information brochures for the illiterate,
braille nutrition texts for the blind,
inexpensive paperback books and free
brochures of nutrition for the poor,
and a host of accurate nutritional
material for Mr. and Mrs. Average.
Besides the written word, films,
slides, tapes, lectures, curriculum for
all ages, posters, and games are available at moderate cost or no cost.
As we begin our third century, are
we superbly nourished specimens of
unexcelled health? Most of us are
not—too many choose to ignore
currently recommended simple eating
guides as "too limiting," "too bothersome," or "not important." The
average American diet is high in
sugar, high in animal fat, low in fiber,
and provides a nominal amount of
vitamins and minerals, resulting
in coronary heart disease, dental
caries, disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract and other such diseases
which increase daily.
Of those who are interested in
nutrition, too many seek out the
more exciting but less factual advice
of misinformers. Paperback racks
offer numerous books that promise to
cure polio with minerals, and sore
throat with coconut milk. Indiscriminate eaters consume millions of
antacid tablets and tons of coatingaction liquids yearly to nullify overloaded stomachs. Sophisticated
twentieth-century intellects who
smile smugly at Allan's Anti-Fat sealichen extract should note that today's Americans spend $200 million
annually on "medicated" candy,
tonics, protein tablets, dehydrated
cider-vinegar pills, and numerous
other worthless reducing aids.
Good nutrition for century three
can have a beginning as simple as
one, two, three, four. Successive
articles in LIFE AND HEALTH will
carefully outline specific nutrient
needs that can be met by carefully
applying the principles of the Four
Food Groups.
The American and History Food, pp. 43, 44.
"Memorand," Galaxy, XI (January, 1971), p. 159.
in the
By Carsten Ahrof a
horty McMahon always rushed
into my office at Taupe and
Enterprises at 4:00
P.M. to
empty my wastepaper basket. I always knew when he whirlwinded in
that just an hour remained of the
I'd always answer, "Hi, McMahon," when he'd say, "Hi, Mr. Parks."
It seemed incongruous to call him
Shorty as the other men did, for
McMahon was over six—very slender
—feet tall. He constantly wore neat,
blue denim coat and pants and a hat
of the same material. That hat or cap
had such a long pointed visor that his
face was constantly in its shadow.
By the time we'd exchanged greetings he had emptied my wastebasket
into the large pasteboard carton he
towed and had disappeared into the
second of our three-room-office suites,
where Angie typed. Angie always
looked a bit dreamy-eyed after McMahon vanished, but they seldom
had anything to say. Never during
the three years he had been with us
had I seen him saunter. He traveled
about Taupe and Taupe as though he
had just had a summons from the
So I was a bit surprised a month or
so back when, instead of sailing in
and out with the refuse of many desks,
he sat down in a chair facing me. He
wasn't towing his carton. It wasn't
4:00 P.M., it was a few minutes before noon.
His long-beaked cap was twisted
around so that his face was in direct
light. I noticed he was much younger
than I had supposed . . . perhaps 35.
His wide-set eyes were brown and
"Mr. Parks, they tell me you used to
teach biology."
"Yes . . . two years . . . I taught at
Lincoln High . . . I liked teaching
biology. Why do you ask?"
"Did you ever have a tame crow?"
"No, but I knew a chap who did.
"Well, at noon yesterday I went for
a walk . . ."
McMahon always took a walk at
noon across the farm lands that edged
town in our section. I'd see him leap a
fence and head for a wooded hilltop,
but I never would have attempted to
match his tempo. He always hiked as
though he had an appointment with
"I walk at noon because after work
I have to take over at home, and then
I'm tied up until work the next morning . . ."
I remembered hearing gossip when
he first began work that his married
sister, Gertrude, helped care for their
widowed father, who was bedfast. She
was on duty with the old man during
the day and McMahon stayed with him
the rest of the time. She was supposed
to be a dominating sort of kill-joy, and
we used to kid Angie about McMahon.
We'd tell her to set her cap for him
and get him away from Gertrude. Angie would just flush furiously . . . that
was the easiest thing she did. Lenny,
in the third office, kept her blushing
most of the time he was in: he wasn't
very selective in his telephone conversations.
"If I didn't walk at noon, I
wouldn't get my exercise and I'd be
It's hard to believe that
one ordinary crow could so
completely change the
personality of a human
as flabby as most of the staffers around
here—no offense personally directed,"
he added, seeing my smile.
"None taken. Where's the crow?"
"I'd come up over the top of Cooper's Hill where there are lots of white
oaks. The acorns are falling now. And
under the biggest tree, right near the
path, was a big black tame crow. He
didn't fly. His tail feathers were cut
square, but his wings weren't docked.
"He walked about as sober as a
judge, pecking at the acorns. No, not
just pecking at them, either. It was
sorta like a game . . . croquet, maybe.
He'd use his neck, head, and bill like
a mallet and send the acorns a considerable distance beyond the tree's
"When I got near him, he made
no attempt to get away. I sat down
and he walked right up my leg and sat
on my knee. I talked to him to see if
he'd talk back. I thought maybe somebody had slit his tongue, see? He never
made a sound . . . just looked at me
with one eye and then turned his head
and looked at me with the other. I
went on talking, stood up, and he
flew to my shoulder."
"Did he show any sign of training?"
I asked.
"When I was talking, some word
or other must have made sense to him
—he jumped from my shoulder to the
ground and climbed on my shoe.
"I took a careful step, and that
seemed to be exactly what he wanted.
He perched sidewise and rode quietly
when I walked slowly, and when I
walked fast he waved his wings and
gripped my shoe so hard I could feel
his claws.
"I sat down again and we ate my
lunch. We ate everything . . . even a
candy bar."
"Did you take him home?"
"My father and Gert have never
allowed me to have pets, not even a
cat. Gert drowned a kitten I brought
home once. Do you think, Mr. Parks,
the crow might be there today?"
"Maybe . . . hardly likely though.
His master could have found him, or a
dog, fox, owl, a hawk, maybe."
"His master, yes, but none of the
others would ever bother him. He'd do
them in. He's what you'd call powerful. He walks like me. When he goes
someplace, he goes. He has three
great toes pointing forward and one
And the bird was there when McMahon's long-legged stride carried
the handy man to Cooper's Hilltop.
The crow stalked down the slope to
meet him. Soon they were having
McMahon underwent a curious
metamorphosis. No insect ever threw
off its chrysalis to become such a completely different sort of a creature. He
had been so absorbed by his simple
tasks and the endless affairs at home
that to him we were just objects with
names. Most of us in turn were hardly
aware he existed—we thought of him
only at the regularly appointed moment he brought soap or towels or
When I walked fast, he
waved his wings and
gripped my shoe so hard I
could feel his claws.
came to fulfill some other routine act.
Now the long-beaked cap disappeared to be replaced with a dashing
straw sporting a black feather. Then
came bright plaid shirts and matching
socks. He talked with various vicepresidents as though they were all
equals in the brotherhood of bird
watchers. They learned the idiosyncrasies of the crow, especially its amazing food habits.
McMahon never left at noon for
the hilltop but that he carried handouts from half a dozen offices—popcorn balls, candy bars, potato chips,
and so on.
For a while some of the men ridiculed the handy man—but he never
seemed to notice their snide remarks.
He was so enthusiastic that his zeal
became contagious. Lenny, of all
That bird assumed the
wingspread of
a condor, the hues
of a peacock, and
the wisdom
of a Solomon.
people, brought him a bag of cheap
finger rings with huge sets. He'd read
that crows have caches for brightly
colored trash. This crow had everything.
Angie, our clerk, was a bird watcher
of long standing. She had a feeding
tray outside the window of her oneroom apartment, and she was becoming a part of McMahon's world. He
began walking her home regularly
after work, evenings, and made the
acquaintance of birds at her feeder—
titmice, chickadees, juncos, and woodpeckers. Of course, he was a bit condescending; after all, these were just
dime-a-dozen wild birds!
And, somehow, the bird on Cooper's Hilltop had ceased to be merely a
crow to us. Even President Taupe was
sending little boxes of raisins for the
bird. It had assumed the wingspread
of a condor, the hues of a peacock,
and the wisdom of a Solomon. The entire building made a pet of a creature
we had never seen and a sort of Mercury of McMahon. He carried our gifts
to the important creature on Cooper's
The handy man never wearied of
discussing the paragon—he became
so late on his rounds that it was often
near closing time before he appeared
towing his carton to empty my trash
"Hi, Parky," he greeted me one
noon. "Do crows migrate?"
The establishment knew the bird
was going to live with him. He was
having a carpenter redo the shed on
his lot. It was an ancient structure that
sounded from description like a carport. Gertrude parked her car in it
during the day. McMahon was having
the side boarded up, a door built in,
and a number of windows added to his
"Won't your folks object?" I
asked. "What about your sister?"
"I just told them, 'Love me, love my
bird!' Gert said she wouldn't come
home anymore, and I said I wouldn't
either. Then the old man started to
blubber. I told them that I was old
enough to know what I was doing.
But say, do crows migrate?"
Angie joined us, and when I hesitated, she spoke up shyly at first, and
then with more assurance.
"Not in the ordinary sense," she
said. "They don't fly south to some
place in Brazil or Argentina, as some
birds do, and return again in spring.
Crows move about a lot, but mostly
stay in one area if they have food. Your
crow will stay, for you've given him
plenty to eat."
"I hope he stays till the birdhouse
is ready for him. Gert calls it the
chicken coop."
I suppose we were responsible for
the fate that overtook the bird. McMahon carried much more food to
Cooper's Hilltop than any bird could
consume. There must have been considerable extra that scented the air and
lured other hungry creatures to the
grove. And one bleak November day
McMahon came in and slumped down
in my chair.
"He's gone. Dead. Pulled to pieces,
eaten up . . . feathers all over the
"Oh . . ." Angie moaned.
McMahon disappeared for the rest
of the week, and when he returned he
was wearing his old denim uniform,
his long-visored cap. Gone was the
glow. The bloom had rubbed off.
There was the mechanical handy man
making mechanical rounds. Rumor
has it that Gert had the side of the
shed taken down and her car has a port
There's no explaining what that
bird had done for Taupe and Taupe
Enterprises. For a two-month period
production and sales soared, and
autumn isn't usually our peak season.
The charts showed an amazing upturn
and then an abrupt return to the old
levels. That fall during the local fund
drive the employees gave more than
$2,000, twice as much as they had
ever contributed before . . . or since.
Once again now I was Mr. Parks,
and McMahon arrived at exactly 4:00
P. M. to empty my basket. The whole
establishment gradually slumped into
the old monotonous rut again. It didn't
seem possible that one touch of wilderness, or something, could have
brought such changes. We drifted
into our old selves once more . . . cynical, weary, bored. For McMahon it was
the death of a personality that had
blazed into a Roman-candle existence,
lighted up everything in our little
world, and then . . . had gone out.8?
Carsten Ahrens has written for LIFE
AND HEALTH before. A retired high
school biology teacher and summer national park ranger-naturalist, he has
traveled as far as Africa on expeditions.
dairy products, or most commercially prepared meat
substitutes. Fiber is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose,
digestible lipids, waxes, nitrogens, and some trace elements such as zinc, chromium, and magnesium.
A deadly art Today, wealthier and more highly industrialized countries have mastered the art of eliminating
fiber from food through refinement and processing. Poorer
countries have not had the technical skills to deprive
themselves of the necessary fiber.
The number one killer in the United States is ischemic
heart disease. Approximately 750,000 Americans die
every year with acute coronary thrombosis. One of the
major risk factors for this is an increase in serum chon the early 1800's food processors began to deplete
lesterol. And two of the minor risk factors are obesity and
bran from grains. It was found that flour could be
diabetes mellitus, which are conditions influenced by
sifted and separated according to its color. The whiter flour the amount of fiber in the diet.
was more in demand than the darker flour—so the whiter
A certain amount of cholesterol is essential for normal
flour was given a higher price. There was one miller
body functions. Cholesterol is the precursor for certain
in London who separated his flour into five categories
hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol).
according to color, from white to brown. The wealthier
It is necessary for maintaining the integrity of cell mempopulation bought the whitest flour and the poorer, the
branes, and is used in the production of bile salts. However,
only about 150 mg. of cholesterol is needed each day
darker. The difference in fiber was 2 per cent for the white
to 12 to 13 per cent for the darker.
to take care of essential body functions. (This is half the
Fiber, bran, and bulk are different names for the same
amount of cholesterol found in one egg.)
substance. It is neither digested nor absorbed, and yet
Excess cholesterol in the blood stream is laid down on
there are several diseases associated with a lack of this
the walls of both large and small arteries. Continuing
substance. A lack is associated, for example, with ischemic
build-up leads to calcification of the cholesterol plaques,
heart disease (insufficient blood circulating), cancer of the which critically narrows and eventually leads to complete
colon and rectum, abdominal polyps of the large bowel,
blocking of the arteries. When the arteries of the heart
appendicitis, gallstones, hiatal hernia, hemorrhoids,
are blocked, a heart attack occurs that may be fatal.
varicose veins, and—surprising to some people—obesity.
Fiber affects cholesterol in several ways. First, a diet
Fiber is plant residue that is not broken down by acid
high in fiber is probably a diet already low in cholesterol.
or alkali, undigestible, unabsorbable, that passes through Excess cholesterol in the diet comes from meats, eggs,
the digestive tract unchanged. It is found only in vegeand dairy products such as cheese, milk, and butter.
tables, fruits, and whole grains. White flour has had most
High-fiber diets cause foods to travel faster through the
of the fiber, or bran, removed. Only 2.4 per cent of white
GI tract, and there is less opportunity for food to be
flour is fiber, whereas whole-wheat flour contains up to
broken down and absorbed. Fiber binds bile salts so they
10 to 12 per cent at dry weight. There is none in meat,
are not reabsorbed. New bile salts must be synthesized
victim of progress
from cholesterol to replace those which were lost in the
stool because of their attachment to fiber. This lowers the
total body pool of cholesterol, probably slowing up the
hardening of arteries. In addition, most gallbladder
disease is related to gallstones-and most gallstones are
composed of cholesterol.
rectal cancer, diverticular disease, spastic colon, and
irritable bowel syndrome? These diseases are closely associated with, if not directly related to, lack of fiber in
the diet. In diverticular disease, spastic colitis, and
irritable bowel syndrome, doctors frequently prescribe a
high-residue diet, and often order pharmaceutical fiber to
be taken every day. It is ironic to buy fiber-free processed
food and then turn around and buy the same fiber from
Fiber fights obesity High-fiber-content foods fight
obesity. Eating foods high in fiber means there are fewer pharmaceutical companies to treat diseases associated
with the lack of fiber in the diet.
calories for the same quantity of food. The calories that
Diverticular disease is an outpouching or herniation
are present have less time to be broken down and absorbed, owing to faster transit time. Highly refined foods of the wall of the colon. This is thought to occur because
of an increase in pressure inside the colon. Fiber is conthat lack fiber-such as honey, sugar, and confectionssidered
by many investigators to lower the pressure inside
tend to increase the likelihood of developing diabetes.
and thus there is less chance of herniation.
If you have a family history of adult-onset diabetes,
you may be able to postpone the onset of the diabetes or
Cancer of the colon and rectum is thought to result
even control it on a high-fiber diet lacking in free sugar.
from chronic irritation of the bowel or exposure to carcinoWhat about appendicitis, bowel polyps, colon and
genic (cancer forming) chemicals. The slower the transit
Brazil nuts
Chestnuts (fresh)
Macadamia nuts
raw with skin
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Peanut butter
Milk chocolate
Carob flour
Yeast (dry active)
100 gm. = 3 1/2 oz.
Fiber Content
Boston Brown Bread
with added sugar and
malt extract
40% Bran Flakes
Bran Flakes with raisins 3.0
cracked wheat
whole grain
flour (dark)
Cream of rice
Oatmeal (dry)
Shredded Wheat
Wheat germ
Corn meal
bread flour
cake flour
Grits (dry form)
Noodles (dry)
Macaroni (dry)
brown (raw)
white (raw)
Spaghetti (dry)
Annabel L. Merrill and Bernice K. Watt. Composition of Foods: Raw, Processed, and Prepared, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook No. 8, December, 1%3, pp.
time of food through the GI tract, the longer the irritating
Bran, or fiber, sprinkled on junk food still leaves junk
food. Sugars and sweets need to be eliminated in favor of
breakdown products of food are in contact with the GI
foods containing more fiber. Satisfy a sweet tooth with
tract. These are thought to be carcinogenic. With an
sweet vegetables and fruits containing fiber, and eat less
increase of fiber in the diet fewer of these are produced,
low-residue foods such as meat and dairy products.
owing to faster transit, and less carcinogenic agents are
Stay away from white flour, including white rice and
formed, with less contact with the colon.
oats. Substitute dairy products and meat with protein-rich
Fiber, then, counteracts disease in three ways:
• Fiber binds bile salts, leading to an over-all decrease whole grains in meals that have most of the bran left in
them. Whole grains are about 12 to 14 per cent bran.
in the body's cholesterol pool.
a nutshell-don't put fiber on your foods, eat foods
with fiber.
gestible and absorbable food, with less fat, sugar,
cholesterol, and calories.
• Faster transit in the lower GI tract gives a decrease
Burkitt, Dennis. American Medical News, October, 1974.
Eastwood, M.A. Lancet, 1974, p. 1029.
in breakdown of digestible foods and a decrease
Heaton, K. W. Lancet, 1973, p. 1418.
in absorption of digestible foods. This reduces the
Lancet, 1974, p. 49.
likelihood of obesity. It also decreases contact in the
Dr. Gary Langston is in his third year of family practice
colon of harmful breakdown products that may be
residency at the Washington Adventist Hospital, Washington,
carcinogenic as well as irritating.
Apples (not pared)
Apple butter
Apple juice
Apricots (raw)
Coconuts (fresh)
(dried, shredded)
Cranberries (raw)
Currants (red and white)
Asparagus (raw)
Artichokes (raw)
Avocados (raw)
snap green
(dry) white
yellow wax
Beets (raw)
2.3 Peaches (raw)
Figs (raw)
1.2 Pears (unpeeled)
5.6 Pineapples (raw)
Fruit Cocktail
Grapefruit (all varieties, raw) .2 Prunes (raw)
5.6 Raisins
Kumquats (raw)
3.7 Raspberries:
Lemons (unpeeled)
black (raw)
red (raw)
.5 Rhubarb (raw)
Limes (raw)
Nectarines (raw)
.6 Strawberries
Oranges (unpeeled)
.5 Tangerines (raw)
Beets, greens (cooked)
.7 Broccoli (cooked)
.7 Brussels sprouts (cooked)
2.4 Cabbage (raw)
2.4 Carrots (raw and cooked)
1.6 Cauliflower
1.0 Chick-peas
4.3 Corn
1.8 Cucumbers (raw)
4.2 Lentils (cooked)
4.3 Lettuce
4.4 Mushrooms (canned)
1.1 Mustard greens (raw)
.8 Okra
Olives (ripe)
Peas (green)
Potatoes (baked)
Sweet potatoes
llk MED'irloi`k
A matter of self-esteem
The following article is
one of a series, abstracted
from Dr. James Dobson's
most recent best-selling
book, What Wives Wish
Their Husbands Knew
About Women (Tyndale,
1975). The theme of this
series focuses on the emotional needs of Christian
wives and mothers amid
society's rapidly changing
values and attitudes.
By James Dobson, Ph.D.
erhaps the most inescapable conclusion I have drawn from psychological counseling of women concerns
the commonness of depression and
emotional apathy as a recurring fact
of life. The 1950's were called an age
of anxiety and stress; the seventies have
already been termed an age of depression.
The majority of adult females seem
to experience these times of despair,
discouragement, disinterest, distress,
despondency, and disenchantment
with circumstances as they are. I have
come to call this condition "the D's"
for obvious reasons. A counselee will
say, "I have the D's today," and I
know precisely what she means.
In order to ascertain the causes of
this feminine depression, I developed
a brief questionnaire on which a sampling of women indicated the greatest
irritants in their lives. Believe it or
not, low self-esteem was indicated
as the most troubling problem by the
majority of the Christian women
completing the questionnaire. More
than 50 per cent of the group marked
this item above every other alternative
on the list, and 80 per cent placed it
in the top five. This finding is perfectly
consistent with my own observations
and expectations: even in seemingly
healthy and happily married young
women, personal inferiority and selfdoubt cut the deepest and leave the
most wicked scars. This same old
nemesis is usually revealed within
the first five minutes of a counseling
session; feelings of inadequacy, lack
of confidence, and a certainty of worthlessness have become a way of life or,
too often, a way of despair for millions
of American women.
What does it mean to have low
self-esteem? What does one experience when struggling with deepseated feelings of inadequacy? Perhaps
I can express the troubling thoughts
and anxieties that reverberate through
the back roads of an insecure mind.
It is sitting alone in a house during
the quiet afternoon hours, wondering
why the telephone doesn't ring, wondering why you have no real friends.
It is longing for someone to talk
to, soul to soul, but knowing there is
no such person worthy of your trust.
It is feeling that "they wouldn't like
me if they knew the real me." It is
becoming terrified when speaking to
a group of your peers, and feeling like
a fool when you get home. It is wondering why other people have so much
more talent and ability than you do. It
is feeling incredibly ugly and sexually unattractive.
It is admitting that you have become a failure as a wife and mother.
It is disliking everything about yourself, and wishing—constantly wishing
—you could be someone else. It is
lying in bed after the family is asleep
and pondering the vast emptiness inside and longing for unconditional
love. It is intense self-pity. It is
reaching up in the darkness to remove
a tear from the corner of your eye. It
is depression!
At this point I offer a message of
great importance to every husband who
loves and wants to understand his
wife. Whereas men and women have
the same needs for self-worth and belonging, they typically satisfy those
needs differently when the wife is not
working. A man derives his sense of
worth primarily from the reputation
he earns in his job or profession. He
draws emotional satisfaction from
achieving in business, becoming
financially independent, developing
a highly respected craft or skill, supervising others, becoming "boss," or
by being loved and appreciated by his
patients or clients or fellow businessmen. The man who is successful in
these areas does not depend on his
wife as his primary shield against inferiority. Of course, she plays an
important role as his companion and
lover, but she isn't essential to his
self-respect day by day.
By contrast, a housewife approaches
her marriage from a totally different
perspective. She does not have access
The more isolated a housewife becomes, the more
vital her husband is to
her sense of self-worth.
to other sources of self-esteem commonly available to her husband. She
can cook a good dinner, but once it is
eaten, her family may not even remember to thank her for it. Her household
duties do not bring her respect in the
community, and she is not likely to be
praised for the quality of her dusting
techniques. Therefore, the more isolated she becomes, as we have discussed, the more vital her husband
will be to her sense of fulfillment, confidence, and well-being. That spells
trouble with a capital T.
Let's reduce it to a useful oversimplification: husbands derive selfesteem by being respected; housewives
feel worthy when they are loved. This
may be the most important personality distinction between the sexes.
This understanding helps explain
the unique views of marriage as seen
by men and women. A man can be
content with a kind of business partnership in marriage, provided sexual
privileges are part of the arrangement.
As long as his wife prepares his dinner
each evening, is reasonably amiable,
and doesn't nag him during football
season, he can be satisfied. The romantic element is nice—but not
necessary. However, this kind of surface relationship drives his wife utterly wild with frustration. She must
have something more meaningful.
Housewives yearn to be the special
sweethearts of their husbands, being
respected and appreciated and loved
with tenderness.
This is why a housewife often thinks
about her husband during the day
and eagerly awaits his arrival home;
it explains why their wedding anniversary is more important to her; and
why he gets clobbered when he forgets it. It explains why she is constantly "reaching" for him when he is
at home, trying to pull him out of
the newspaper or television set; it explains why Absence of romantic love in
my marriage ranked near the top as a
source of depression among women,
whereas men would have rated it somewhere in the vicinity of last place.
God understands the emotional
needs of the men and women He created. Thus He inspired the apostle
Paul to write: "So again I say, a man
must love his wife as a part of himself;
and the wife must see to it that she
deeply respects her husband—obeying, praising and honoring him"
(Eph. 5:33, T.L.B.).*
There is certainly no room for masculine oppression within that formula.
The husband is charged with loving
leadership within the family, but he
must recognize his wife's feelings and
needs as being one with his own.
When she hurts, he hurts, and takes
steps to end the pain. What she
wants, he wants, and satisfies her
needs. And through all this, his wife
deeply respects, praises, and even
obeys her loving husband. If this one
prescription were applied within the
American family we would have little
need for divorce courts, alimony, visiting rights, crushed children, broken
hearts, and shattered lives.
• From The Living Bible, Paraphrased (Wheaton: Tyndale
House Publishers, 1971). Used by permission.
Dr. James C. Dobson, Jr., is a widely
known psychologist on the West Coast.
He is a professor of pediatrics (child
development) at the University of
Southern California School of Medicine, director of behavioral research
and director of child development for
the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles,
and the assistant director of the Department of Education at the American
Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles. No stranger to the art of parenthood, he lives with his wife and two active children in Arcadia, California.
faces, potindin
Each of us is sometimes
assailed by fear. We need
to learn how to come to
grips with this specter.
By Ruth Jaeger Buntain
ccording to an ancient legend,
Cholera went riding on his
camel. He met a curious Bedouin who
asked him where he was going.
"I am going to Baghdad to kill
20,000 people," Cholera replied.
Later, the two met again. The Bed-
ouin scolded Cholera.
"You didn't tell me the truth; not
20,000 died in Baghdad but 100,000."
"I told the truth," Cholera answered. "I killed 20,000. Fear killed
the rest."
It is a well-known fact that fear is a
killer. There are persons who have
died purely from fright after being
bitten by a nonpoisonous snake.
In his book The Physiology of Faith
and Fear, Dr. William Sadler relates
how the fear of certain diseases will
sometimes actually produce physical
symptoms of disease. He tells about a
woman who died because of a cancer
that she never had. She thought that
she had cancer, and so she died, although there were no indications she
had the disease.1
Most often, fear does not kill outright but, rather, slowly and insidiously. It is a poison that creates a state
of mind of anxiety, unease, dread,
terror. And, like all rebel emotions,
it affects the body.
There are unharmful fears, of
course. Protective fears that cause us
to stop when we come to the end of a
cliff, to lock our doors, to look both
ways before we cross a street.
These aren't the fears that destroy
health and well-being. The fears that
haunt the mind are the fear of failure,
of insanity, of losing love, of poverty,
of rejection, of illness, of old age, and
of loneliness and death.
Such fears hamper the mental processes. Your mind goes blank—you
have stage fright, you forget your
name. Fear can be so pronounced that
anxiety is converted to a bodily symptom—a crippling pain in the head or
abdomen, blindness, a paralyzed arm.
Fear and anxiety often cause headaches—the commonest complaint of
modern man. Ralph F. Waddell,
M.D., said, "Most headaches result
from the wrong use of the mind, from
anxiety, mistrust, fear, tension, and
hypersensitive personalities. These
produce vascular changes, tense muscles, and deranged body functions." 2
Fear is one of the nine factors listed
by heart-attack specialists as the cause
of coronary heart trouble, our number
one killer.3
The extent to which fear is a part
of our lives is shown by the fact that
the most widely prescribed drug in
America last year was the antianxiety
agent Valium.4
bushes and trees to escape gunfire—
at a speed he had never before equaled.
When he reached safety, the
nervous and chemical reactions subsided, and his body processes became
Take another example in Jim's life. He is seated at
his office desk, and he answers his
telephone. One of his largest business
The body's alarm response Fear
and its protective or destructive re- orders has been canceled.
When he puts down the telephone,
actions are shown in this hypothetical
case: Jim went into the woods for an he is fear-ridden. That order was
outing. As he was enjoying the re- counted on to weather the business
laxation he became aware that a man slump and to pay creditors who were
was lookifig at him from behind a pressuring him—he faces the possibility of business failure.
A quick glance indicated the
His body instantly reacts in the
stranger was a questionable type, an precise way it reacted to the unkown
unshaven, oddly dressed person. At threat in the woods. His body is mothe same time Jim noticed the bilized for flight or fight. But he can
stranger's gun he remembered a news- choose neither. Fight? Whom?
paper article reporting the escape of a
Start running? Where? Around the
seriously disturbed male patient from office?
a nearby mental hospital.
The fight is in his mind, and it canUnarmed and unprotected, Jim felt not be settled quickly. Consequently,
panic-stricken—fear triggering two the chemical reactions do not subside
tiny adrenal glands, one located on and his body processes cannot return
top of each kidney. They were in- to normal until his fears and anxieties
stantly stimulated to produce extra have been dispelled.
quantities of adrenalin; the body was
If they persist, the adrenalin secrein a state of full alert.
tion—invaluable as an emergency
The adrenalin circulating in the stimulant—becomes a chronic poison.
blood temporarily turned off his The accumulated effects of the contindigestive processes, making additional uous stress can lead to exhaustion.
blood available where it was more Depending on Jim's individual stress
urgently needed. It shut down skin level, they can lead to chronic disease,
blood vessels—Jim paled—so that ranging from asthma to a coronary.
extra blood could be sluiced into musIn addition, studies show that fear
cles and internal organs.
is as contagious as any communicable
It triggered his liver to release disease—a mother can transmit fear
more blood sugar—instant energy— to her child, even though the child is
into his blood stream. It stimulated unaware of what is happening.
pulse, respiration, and blood presJust to be near a fear-ridden person
sure, and quickened the clotting causes a vague uneasiness, and listentime of his blood—in case of injury.
ing to voice recordings of such a perAll this happened in seconds.
son will cause tension.5
Jim became an instant superman;
he could run faster, hit harder, lift Do something about fear The first
heavier, and jump farther than he thing to do about fear is to begin
normally would or could do. He was decisive action. Discuss your fear with
mobilized for flight or fight. He someone in whom you have confidence
chose flight. Zigzagging behind and trust. If your fear is of a specific
Civilized fear
People can die from
fright alone.
kind choose someone who is knowledgeable about your problem.
As you share your fears with an
understanding person, you will be
surprised how much better you feel.
Even though your confidante does not
minimize your problem, you will now
be able to attack it realistically rather
than emotionally. Be sure to choose a
person who will not betray your trust
and with whom you will always feel
While you are in the throes of your
problem, be physically active. You
need distraction from your morbid
thoughts, and physical activity will
help blank them out. Pull weeds, mow
the lawn, paint the toolhouse, go for a
long, brisk walk. Muscular fatigue
will also prepare you for a good night's
Dr. Henry Link once advised someone to exert himself physically to get
rid of an obsessive idea. "You have
put too much of your physical energies
into imagining," he said. "If you run
hard enough, you will automatically
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relax and go to sleep. You have
thought yourself into this fear with
your mind; you can run yourself out
of it with your legs." 6 And he did.
People plagued by nagging fears are
usually more introverted than extroverted. They may be more sensitive
to disapproval, and may be self-critical
and introspective. If they can turn
their self-absorption toward other
people, as they develop a true concern for others they make a positive
step toward mental and emotional
Whatever our nagging fears—
speaking in public, losing our jobs,
insanity, rejection—we should be
aware that to change the current of our
thoughts is not easy. We need to remember this so that when results do
not come as quickly as we had anticipated we will not become discouraged.
To overcome "first this fear and
then that," it is best to use a step-bystep approach to your fear—when it
is of a general nature. Each step in the
We are all susceptible to contamination of one
kind or another in the foods we eat or in the water
we drink. What it amounts to is a form of poisoning which may cause or contribute to discomfort,
cramping, flatulence, diarrhea.
Activated charcoal is without equal as an adsorbent antidote for swallowed poisons because
of its ability to seize and hold toxic substances
and carry them harmlessly through the digestive
tract. In a similar manner it is able to adsorb many
of the toxins that may be ingested in food and
Activated charcoal also offers the unique
ability to adsorb intestinal gas. Most of us have
occasional times of distress from flatulence, and
lessening the amount of gas by adsorption can
provide welcome relief. The deodorizing properties of activated charcoal are helpful in reducing
offensive odors.
Activated charcoal cannot be assimilated from
the digestive tract into the blood stream, so it is
relatively harmless even when taken in very large
doses. However, it should not be taken for more
than three days because it can adsorb valuable
nutrients and enzymes as well as offending toxic
substances and gas. Its use should be reserved
for the acute or occasional need. It will act as an
antidote for many drugs, so it should not be taken
the same time a prescription drug is being taken,
except to nullify the effect of the drug as in a case
of accidental drug overdosage.
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conquest of fear requires an act of the
For example, a painfully shy person could begin with simple overtures to others. Initially, he may not
be ready for a complete plunge.
Dr. Link told of a young patient
so anxiety-ridden he could hardly
talk out loud. He worked in a large
bank, in association with a dozen employees in his department. However,
as he went to his desk in the morning,
he spoke to no one.
As the first step in overcoming his
shyness, he was counseled to start the
day by speaking to the people with
whom he worked. No matter how
painful this was for him, he was to
say a cheerful greeting to each employee he passed on the way to his
desk: "Good morning, Frank!"
"Hello, Keating!" "Good morning,
Mr. Eaton."
He did this, and found the results
gratifying. He was then ready to accept more difficult assignments of
outreach. In time, he developed
self-confidence and lost his shyness. By
doing the thing he feared, he had made
certain the death of fear.?
To have a sound mind—an unhaunted mind—we need to come
under divine influence. Then we can
be transformed by the renewal of our
mind. Fear can no longer haunt us,
because it cannot exist in the presence
of the God who said, "Fear not, for
I am with thee" (Genesis 26:24). IV
' I. E. Gibson. How to Stay Alive and Alert. National
Research Bureau, Inc., booklet (1973), p. 11.
2 R. F. Waddell, M.D. Let's Talk About Health. Review and Herald, Dec. 12, 1974, p. 9.
3 Signs of the Times, October, 1974, p. 8.
4 D. A. Sugarman. What Are You Afraid Of? Reader's Digest (September, 1974), p. 130.
В° Gibson. Op. cit., p. 9.
6 H. C. Link, Ph.D. Do the Thing You Fear. Reader's
Digest Anthology (1948), p. 73.
Ibid., pp. 75, 76.
Ruth Jaeger Buntain, for 27 years a public school educator, is an author who
lives in Angwin, California, with her
husband, a retired school principal.
She has, in addition to writing magazine
articles, published two books for children.
ne in five white American males
may have a heart attack before
60, and one in 10 to 15 will die of
such an attack. What doctors call
atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is occurring more often in
younger age groups, and half the
number who die of heart attack do so
before reaching medical care. The
incidence among women is also
on the increase.
Medical studies implicate many
factors, including a high-cholesterol
diet, cigarette smoking, high blood
pressure, coffee drinking, and stress.
A certain amount of stress has to
be met and handled almost every day,
but home can be a haven where a
By Beatrice Levin
person can relax on territory where
there are no threats.
You can make clear to your spouse
his or her value as an individual
apart from the role extensions of
mother or father of children, wage
earner, provider—and a strong burden of stress is eliminated. You
may not be able to eliminate the
everyday frustrations of traffic, tax
time, and office politics, but you can
make sure he or she feels personally
cared for.
In addition, you may both enjoy
tennis, bicycling, or swimming.
Walking is the best exercise of all,
however. Don't just stroll along.
Stride. At first you may not be able to
walk fast, but after a few weeks of
daily walking you'll enjoy a brisk
As for any particular way to hold
your body or move your arms or legs
or a way to breathe, there isn't any.
"No matter what you have heard,"
says Dr. Harry J. Johnson, "there is
only one way to breathe—in and
A nightly stroll as husband and
wife could find you talking to each
other in ways you haven't since your
courtship. It may not only save your
life—but your marriage.
The relationship built on such
walks promotes self-disclosure,
spontaneity, and openness. Psychotherapists claim that such disclosure
gives a sense of well-being. An oldfashioned warmth grows between
you. The walks bring you closer,
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help you sleep, and may perhaps
keep one of you from having a coronary.
Start with walking around one
block, and increase this until you
go around several. You don't have to
get out in drenching rain, of course,
or in scorching heat. Don't be rigid or
have too many rules. If you've gone
shopping or to the grocery or hardware store and have walked a good
distance from your car, that may
be enough exercise for the day. A
husband who offers to help with the
housework not only wins his wife's
heart but helps his own. He may
exercise muscles that otherwise never
get used.
Don't rush out and join a costly
health spa or club on the theory you
can get your exercise there. Don't
buy a rowing machine or one of those
bicycles that go nowhere. These
expensive exercise gimmicks usually
clutter up your closet and make you
feel guilty every time you see them.
"Let's have another cup of coffee
and let's have another piece of pie,"
is a song outmoded in style and
directive, because if you don't watch
those cups of coffee and pieces of
pie, you are inviting a coronary.
Physicians from Boston University
Medical Center report that people
who drink more than five cups of
coffee a day are twice as likely to
suffer heart attacks as people who
drink no coffee at all. The link between coffee and a coronary was
stronger than that of cigarette smoking and a heart attack.
Doctors suggest that regular
walking will help keep you slimmer.
A person who is 30 pounds overweight is in the position of carrying
around a 30-pound suitcase all day; he
can't be in a very good mood at the
end of ten or twelve hours of lugging
that fat around.
Use a little imagination and you
can make dietary changes that won't
make your meals less interesting,
tasty, or attractive. Use skim milk,
whey cheeses, cottage cheese, corn or
safflower oil margarines (instead of
butter), sherbet instead of ice cream.
Instead of sausage or bacon and
eggs for breakfast, serve cereal and
fresh fruit. Eliminate sugar as much
as possible from your diet. Recent
studies suggest that not only does
sugar lead to diabetes but that there
is also a link between diabetes and
heart attack.
Dr. Aharon Merdechai Cohen,
chief of the diabetic unit of the
Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, revealed that
his experiments indicate people who
are genetically prone to diabetes
can prevent the disease by excluding
sugars from their diet, thus reducing
the risk of heart attack caused by
In addition to regular exercise,
consider these as your valentine
present for your spouse in 1977:
—don't smoke.
—don't eat too much.
—cut down on saturated fats in
your diet.
—don't eat egg yolks.
—eat plenty of fresh fruit and
—have your blood pressure
checked annually.
You might even consider buying
a dog—see that he gets walked
every night in good weather. After
all, a dog needs exercise.
Dietary information can be obtained without cost
from the following:
The American Health Foundation, 2 East End Ave.,
New York, NY 10021.
The American Heart Association, 44 East 23rd St.,
New York, NY 10010.
Chiffon Margarine, P.O. Box 34, Dallas, TX 75221.
CPC International, Inc., Englewood Cliffs,
NJ 07632.
Fisher Cheese Co., Dietary Cheese, P.O. Box 12,
Wapakoneta, OH 45895.
Fleischmann's Margarines, Box 1180, Elm City,
NC 27822.
Food Protein Council, Suite 314, 1225 Conn. Ave.,
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
General Mills, Dietetic Specialties, 4520 W. 77th St.,
Minneapolis, MN 55435.
National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike,
Bethesda, MD 20010.
Loma Linda Foods, Riverside, CA 92505.
Worthington Foods, Worthington, OH 43085.
Beatrice Levin, a writer of eight books
and more than four hundred articles
and short stories, also teaches creative
writing for an adult education program in Houston, Texas.
shy Be Vegetarian?
Now, as never before, the question of vegetarianism looms large
on the minds of families everywhere. Some homemakers are
questioning: Can a vegetarian diet
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growing family?
We would invite you to look at
LIFE AND HEALTH'S first supplement, entitled "Vegetarianism,"
which answers many of the questions that either you or your
friends and neighbors may have
on the subject of vegetarianism. It
has beautiful full-color illustrations from its attractively designed
cover to the last page and is full
of information. Order today.
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Extra pounds . . . who doesn't
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OB 205
Cooking and Food
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