Alzheimer’s disease, while one of humanity’s most ubiquitous afflictions, is also a mystery to many. This is why Dr. Naheed Ali has written a fantastic book about the disease that provides invaluable knowledge and guidance. My review of his book, Understanding Alzheimer’s: An Introduction for Patients and Caregivers:
Understanding Alzheimer’s: An Introduction for Patients and Caregivers is a remarkably-organized and astoundingly well-researched guidebook for one of the world’s foremost growing concerns. Dr. Ali has presented us with a tome that is a road map of hope for patients as well as all types of caregivers of patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s. His realistic, practical approaches in dealing with this initially frightening diagnosis should bring a degree of peace and solace to all of us. He includes a wealth of information about alternative approaches, new treatments, and the most up-to-date research available.
This book is a great read even if you are not a patient or caregiver; the writing is elegant and the content is essential. You can find the book in the Kindle store, as well as at Amazon.com.
Young people all over the world who look forward to Rihanna and Chris Brown’s next album, teasingly released last week, will be getting the wrong message about the thin line between love and hate. Consider the sexually charged lyrics in Rihanna’s 2011 hit song “S&M”: “[S]ticks and stones might break my bones but chains and whips excite me”. When you juxtapose these fantasy lyrics with Rihanna’s very real abuse at the hands of her former lover, the images of fear, submission, and pain become undeniably disturbing. Indeed, I certainly agree with Rihanna that “nothing could measure” to the physical pain of being hurt by a loved one, but it is extremely dangerous to rationalize a violent relationship by recasting it as sadomasochistic “pleasure.” Many people who associate pain and danger with pleasure and love have died when they put themselves in the way of danger again and again.
You know it and I know it—Rihanna should not be reuniting with Chris Brown. Their reignited flame and its promotion through controversial song releases like “Birthday Cake” and “Turn Up the Music”, are an uncomfortable intersection of art and life. Though we generally pride ourselves at drawing a distinction between what an artist says and what an artist does, it’s hard to forget that today’s overtly sexual Rihanna was being badly and conspicuously battered not so long ago. Though her lyrics may blur the line between violent sex and domestic abuse, she can’t completely repackage her victimization as a show of sexual liberation.
Nor should she. It is not appropriate for any partner to endure physical, emotional or sexual abuse in relationships, whether they are female or male, famous or otherwise. Underneath the celebrity façade is still an innocent person, who in this case is a victim of severe domestic violence.
To be clear, many partners have a dysfunctional “love-hate” relationship without any undertones of masochism; any sort of unhealthy relationship volatility can escalate dangerously when the cycle of domestic abuse is left unchecked. Short courses in anger management are hardly enough to maintain this fragile balance when passions reignite.
Rihanna reported to Rolling Stone: “I love to be submissive… being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge.” Like all adults, Rihanna should be able to choose to explore the sensations of power and powerlessness alike with a sexual partner she knows and trusts. But Rihanna knows that Chris is violent, and she shouldn’t trust him. Being submissive with someone who has physically battered her is not what Rihanna needs, nor is it the narrative she should be pitching to her fans.
Yet this is the narrative that is being presented by the PR storm that surrounds Rihanna and Chris Brown. Rihanna and Chris are both young and reportedly in love, but they are also caught up in a social media and marketing frenzy to move as many albums as possible. The commercial aspect of their very public private drama is one of the most harrowing aspects of it; the financial structure of Rihanna’s career would welcome Chris Brown, even as the emotional structure of Rihanna should refuse to see him again.
Let’s stand up and send a clear message to entertainers that not everything that makes money while compromising safety is “just art.” Every public failure to recognize and reject abuse helps countless more to justify their own tragedies in private. Yet the story of the personal and emotional triumph of a high-profile victim like Rihanna can help many other victims on their own paths to reclaim their strength. For this reason, I urge you, as a physician who is a parent, to screen the content of what your children listen to on the radio and through their iPods to ensure that if your children’s music pushes the envelope that it doesn’t cross the line into their young ears and formative minds.
Source: Rihanna’s Rolling Stone’s Interview Lee, Joyce (2011-03-31). “Rihanna talks Chris Brown, S&M tendencies in Rolling Stone”
Cooking legend Paula Deen is the epitome of you are what you eat. The Savannah restaurant owner and author of several cookbooks, who also appears in her own television show, tells “kids to have cheesecake for breakfast… chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch—and french fries” according to Barbara Walters. Apparently the chef heeded her own advice and now the blatant disregard for eating healthy has caught up with her as she has been diagnosed with type II diabetes. The official announcement of her type II diabetes only came about recently, several years after she was actually diagnosed. Unfortunately this announcement did not come out in conjunction with a public service announcement promoting organic foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, or while pushing healthy entree selections at the buffet of her world famous restaurant. Instead Chef Deen elected to take her diabetes story public in conjunction with her role as a paid spokeswoman for Novo, the Danish-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, pushing its new diabetes management program. With role models such as Chef Deen, it is no wonder that America is becoming the fattest nation, with staggering statistics on cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and more alarmingly, juvenile diabetes, to back it up.
With Chef Deen on the air and in our children’s cookbooks the nation will turn into the capital of juvenile diabetes in no time unless parents take a proactive stance against such role models. As a parent and physician myself, I will not allow Chef Deen’s children’s cookbook in my home because I don’t want any child to follow in her footsteps and become a diabetic. I encourage all parents to step away from the plate and lead by example by deep-sixing Chef Deen’s cookbooks and planting an organic garden with your children instead.