What I was not to know on 14 June was that less than a fortnight later - 26 June - that my partner’s youngest daughter Kate - aged only 46 - would have been diagnosed with, commenced treatment for and die from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). A Tribute to Kate’s many qualities, her qualifications and the huge hole left in our whole family by her sudden and as yet unexplained death are published in the Letters to the Editor.
As the saying goes “Life Goes On”. A snapshot of life going on includes Kate’s youngest daughter Amelia celebrating her 10th birthday on 28 July; also Kate’s son Connor’s partner Coral is very soon about to give birth. My partner Mike and I attended a Dinner Party at the House of Lords as a prequel to the transformational New Horizons in Water Science Conference held on 14 July – reviewed in the Letters pages by Dr Robert Verkerk, one of the speakers.
Kate’s sudden and unexpected death has created a deep trauma in Kate’s wide circle of friends, family and colleagues; many if not most of us are still in shock and haven’t been able to come to terms that we won’t ever be able to see her again. While it’s hopeful that the coroner’s investigation will be able to offer explanations and perhaps pinpoint the reasons for her death at one of the premier, elite hospitals in the UK - UCL - these of course won’t bring her back.
Speaking as I do with many in the Positive Health PH Online community - authors, practitioners, businesses, publishers, advertisers - I converse with many who have undergone similar bereavements from deaths of parents, relatives, siblings, children and friends and suffer grief with its myriad constellation of consequences.
Positive Health PH Online Issue 248 presents a diverse and wide-ranging array of editorial features which as is usual, span and embrace the entire spectrum – psychospiritual, psychological, clinical, physical and political – of aspects of natural approaches to medicine and healthcare.
Aspects of the psychospiritual, even existential are discussed in scholarly fashion in The Shadow Dance of our Mind. Numerous approaches which touch upon the multi-modal effects which stress plays in our lives are presented in diverse articles: Application of Mindfulness for Work-Related Stress, 12 Health Benefits of Sleeping 6-8 Hours, Science-Backed Tips for the Perfect Nap, The Effects of Stress on Your Oral Health.
Clinical advice regarding CFS-ME is cogently dispensed by Nicole Barton in her article Side Effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS and How to Use Aromatherapy Safely; whereupon Nancy Blake has written a hard-hitting, sardonic yet bullseye analysis of the Current Review of NICE Guideline CG53 - subtitled Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): diagnosis and management - which doesn’t pull any punches.
“The Guideline Review Process, with its byzantine layers of meetings, consultations, levels of power, and ultimate decision-making process, in which one person, or a small group, can simply decide to ignore what evidence they choose, on whatever grounds they choose looks a lot like what Frankfurt quotes as “bullshitting ones way through”
‘This involves not merely producing one instance of bullshit; it involves a program of producing bullshit to whatever extent the circumstances require.’
A look into the future of care homes - their services and environment - is explored in How will Care Homes Look in Years to Come? whereas Richard Eaton has written a lengthy leviathan-esque tour de force in his treatise The National Health Service should engage with Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in which he compiles difficult to fathom statistics and policies about the NHS and its refusal to embrace alternative and complementary approaches and practitioners.
“And yet, a professionally qualified, regulated, insured, highly experienced, motivated and ‘untapped’ healthcare workforce consisting of CAM practitioners is ready, willing and able to assist. Many already work in the NHS, especially but not exclusively, in the primary care sector where they are not permitted to use CAM. Others, to a limited extent and particularly in oncology and palliative care, do practise in the NHS often on a voluntary basis. So what is the reason for this contradiction and why is the potential of CAM not being ‘tapped’?”
“…We identified a number of services where CAM is integrated into NHS provision, using various models and with varying degrees of perceived success. Acupuncture and homeopathy were most commonly provided, followed by massage, osteopathy and mindfulness. Most was NHS-funded CAM, free to patients. GPs were often instrumental in service initiation and NHS staff enthusiasm facilitated integration. Perceived success, sustainability and acceptability may depend on: providing a wide range of CAM; full integration into an NHS service; dual NHS and CAM trained clinicians; and evidence. Barriers to integration were funding, anti-CAM attitudes, and negative NHS staff attitudes or lack of knowledge…”
“As argued above, CAM practitioners already contribute significantly to the NHS primary care sector, including in some GP practices, and could make an even greater contribution if NHS policy permitted.
Dr Dixon opens his article with the following warning:
“…If we continue as we are, general practice has no future. This is not a political statement blaming any politicians or organisations but a naked practical truth. Within five years, the family doctor providing personal and continuing care, will be gone – it’s happening already…”
“…If we want to save general practice then it is now or never - now time for patients and media, clinicians and managers, health leaders and politicians to become angry and difficult. Because if we fail general practice then we fail our patients. We fail our communities. We fail the NHS and the NHS itself will ultimately fail…”
“I believe that it is the interests of their patients and the pursuit of integrated medicine that CAM practitioners, regulators and professional organisations should heed Dr Dixon’s warning and combine to have their voice heard in support of GP practices.”
Articles with potentially life-saving and certainly life-improvement qualities include: The Real Causes of Heart Disease [and Statins don't help], Great Vagal Tone = Happy, Healthy You! Is it too good to be true?, The Holistic Approach - Mind, Body, Connection - Including Bariatric Surgery, How Taking Control Can Do Wonders for Your Back Pain and Pharmacological Activity and Benefits Of Annona Squamosa Linn for Human Health.
Marion Eaton’s superb cover story feature Water - Wild, Weird And Wonderful goes beyond categorization, for it superbly illustrates how and why water is perhaps the most precious and life-conferring substance on earth.
Therefore, despite the immense tragedy of Kate’s death and the truisms of Life must go On, it falls to me to invite all readers of Positive Health PH Online to delve deeply into the content of Issue 248 as an issue with so much to give.