Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Homage to Pat Summitt

As many sports fans know, Pat Summitt was an amazing basketball coach. Scanning Wikipedia falls short to explain how successful Summit really was. Yes, she won a silver medal in the Montreal Olympics, as a player, in 1976, but her destiny was to become one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. Over the decades, the championships kept piling up. You would have to go back to the era of John Wooden at UCLA when to find an apt comparison. From the early 1970s, to find a coach who was so fabulously successful.  Better to recall the good days, when her players—most of them—adored  her. Why wouldn’t they. Sure, there must have been rivalries among the players, but that is typical.
But here are some  examples, from Coach Sumitt. Candace Parker was the star of that team, from 2004 to 2008. Parker also was the first women  to dunk in an NCAA tournament.
Summitt had several sayings.
Attitude is a choice. What you can think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident, or scared, will most likely happen. In a more aggressive stance, Summitt would say, Here’s how I’m going to beat you. That it. And finally, It’s harder to stay to on the top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.
And keep in mind that Summitt was living with the disease, without knowing it. And it seemed that her case had moved fairly swiftly. What a shame. She was diagnosed in 2011 at age 59. What  a terrible loss . Others have gone on to live in with many years in relative good mental health.  Pat Summitt was robbed.  But she would not have put it that way. After all, the team is called the “Lady Volunteers.”

Also in the spring edition is a feature about myths about Alzheimer’s. Progress continues, but there are still pockets where some people are in denial. Accordingly, ALZ has published a “myth or fact” feature.
The most misleading of the “facts” is that Alzheimer’s is just another part of aging. Even doctors, in the early years of the 21st Century, most doctors thought that senility was a normal process of aging. And even more hoary was the claim that one could not die from Alzheimer’s. The next “myth” is close to my heart. “Only old people get Alzheimer’s.” Well, I have been writing a book about early-onset  Alzheimer’s over the past several years.
At least the myth about aluminum can sounds plausible. But there is no evidence whatsoever that flu shots can contribute to dementia. The last “myth” noted is more subtle: “It would be wonderful if a particular food or supplement could delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but we do not have the science evidence that these claims are true. “We need clinical trials to evaluate whether any food or supplement will have…It is unlikely that one food or supplement will have a significant supplement. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages everyone to eat a healthy diet and balanced.”
Also in this issue, Candace Parker, one of the great women’s college basketball teams, leading to the Ladies Vols to two championships. Then came the devastating news: Summit was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. There are about 200,000 cases in the United States. But back to back are two features. The first one is “Ask us.” The writer asked this: My 78-year sister hasn’t been herself. Her house has always really neat and tidy last time I visited it was a mess! It didn’t look at all at the place she for more than 50 years….I’m worried something more is going on.”
And here is the reply: “As someone who knows, you are right to be concerned. When there are distinct changes in a person’s behavior…With that said, it can be difficult to approach someone with your concerns and recommendation. Sometimes people may not see changes in themselves. If you are holding this magazine in your hands, you can just look at the next at page. The title is “10 steps to memory concerns:

1.    What’s the person doing or not doing ordinary?
2.   What other health or lifestyle could be a factor
3.   Has anyone noticed the change (or changes)?
4.   Who should have the conversation? Important!
5.   What’s best time and place?