It's mid-2020, and it's time to start breaking out of our voluntary, Covid-induced, self-isolation. In this new SMN69 Blog, we want to share stories and hear about each other's life events. What have you been doing? Do you have an inspirational story to tell, or have you written some poetry or a favorite book review? Be creative!
 
Keep it positive and apolitical please. Leave your name, say hello, reach out to those who know the real you. Don't be shy - that time is long past. Think about it - we were each other's first best friends.  
 
Nothing exciting to say? That's OK, because we're all soooo incredibly bored and literally aching for contact with others. Let's hear from you!
 
 
June 20, 2020

So, What's New?

Let us know how things are going for you in 2020. Click on Add a New Comment to begin. You can also click the Reply control beneath anyone's comment and publicly post a reply or comment in response - these will show up on this page within that person's comment thread. 

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Wade "Chip" Martin on June 22, 2020 11:04 AM
                As a cardiologist, I've sort of had to re-invent myself and do my cardiology clinics by telephone and do a lot more general internal medicine and less cardiology than previously.  I'm a full-time faculty member of the Washington University School of Medicine and on the staff of both Barnes Jewish Hospital and the St. Louis VA Hospital but all of my recent rotations have been at the VA Hospital.   Fortunately, at the VA Hospital we've had ONLY about 100 hospitalizations with Covid-19 whereas Barnes has had many more.   Some of my telephone clinics are from home but I still come to the hospital to reviews grants by teleconference and perform other activities.  I am met by a phalanx of gowned and masked personnel, wear an N-95 mask myself, and have my temperature taken before I can enter the hospital.  Barnes and the rest of the hospitals have a similar procedure.
                Fortunately, I've been afebrile so far as has my wife.  I have a step-daughter with special needs who works at Schnucks grocery as a bagger.  Several employees there tested positive but so far my step-daughter continues to slog on.
                I had a hip replacement at Barnes in November 2019 due to arthritis but am back to performing daily strenuous exercise.  At my follow-up clinic visit in January 2021 I showed the Barnes surgeon who performed my hip arthroplasty a study from Stanford in about 40,000 runners who actually had about a 20% lower rate of arthritis and hip replacement than non-runners or sedentary people.  Although none of them approached my 120,000 miles of running, he agreed that it isn't at all certain that chronic high impact exercise causes arthritis but it definitely is likely to have contributed to my having no other health problems or taking any medications.  Regular exercise also would likely reduce the risk of a poor outcome with Covid-19 by preventing diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.  It increases by several hundred percent nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme that synthesizes nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system and physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are using inhaled nitric oxide to improve outcome of Covid-19 patients on ventilators.   I think I'd much rather make my own nitric oxide for free and out of hospital.  An Irish study showed a relationship between low Vitamin D levels and higher Covid-19 mortality in some countries so Vitamin D and possibly C ingestion might be helpful and not harmful to reduce the severity of the illness, although I suspect that exercise, maintaining an ideal weight and avoiding tobacco are the most important, same as for preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc. etc.......  Since ultraviolet radiation may help inactivate the virus, being outside and exercising in a park or other large open space where physical distancing is easy to maintain is a good idea.
                This pandemic is likely to drastically change (likely for the better) the United States healthcare system, which, as you probably know, has average costs about twice those of any other developed nation, the poorest longevity of all those countries and one of the most sedentary obese populations in the world.    There has been a massive drop in elective medical procedures in the United States, many, if not most of which, were medically unnecessary, although they were necessary for hospitals' bottom lines and many hospitals (such as the Mayo Clinic, Barnes, Stanford, etc. etc.) are reporting huge losses.  Questionable medical necessity is certainly true for many coronary artery interventions, bypass operation, and imaging stress tests, so cardiology is one of the worst culprits in eliciting high healthcare costs without improved outcome.   The New England Journal of Medicine published 4 articles in the past 2 months showing no benefit of coronary artery intervention or bypass surgery for improvement of mortality, reduction of heart attacks or hospitalizations for chest pain, heart failure, or cardiac arrest in patients with a moderate to severely abnormal imaging stress test. In fact, in patients with severe kidney disease, the risk of stroke was almost 4 times higher, and the risk of death or progression to dialysis was higher in those with coronary artery revascularization.  Thus, I hope the volume of these procedures never comes back.  
                With that, I'll sign off.  Best wishes!  Stay healthy by staying physically fit, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco!!!
 
Chip Martin
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Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 23, 2020 11:55 AM
It is so great to get this inside look at your life's work. We lived in St. Louis (Chesterfield, from 1992-2003), and all three of our kiddos graduated from high school there. Those years were full and fun. Warm regards!
Sherry
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Chip Martin on June 24, 2020 11:23 AM
Hi Sherry,
Wonderful to hear from you and delighted you and Tom are doing well!  If we had known you were in St. Louis, we would have reached out.  I've been here since 1985, met my wife (Mary) in 1992 and we were married in 1999.  Unusual to be in one place for 35 years now.   I can't believe I just wrote that (35 years). Weren't we in Unified Studies class with Mr. Maach in 7th grade at Old Mission?  I think I got that right???  Vaguely remember a vegetable roll when everuone rolled vegetables up to the front of the class.  I read your post about opening all the boxes. Isn't that the truth and we haven't moved as much as you.  Mary and I were in Kansas City for a couple of weeks in around summer 2012 to clean out my parent's house in Roeland Park.  They died in 2009 and 2010 at age 92 and it was impossible to walk through their basement.  Lots of treaures found as you aptly described below.  Letters from my great grandparents in Germany in the 1800s.  Stamps.  Antiques.  Some items that we couldn't figure out their purpose.  We had a major home remodel in St. Louis in 2008 and quite an upheaval with that.  We have lived cin University City between the Delmar Loop and Wash U since 1996 if you remember that area.  Are your kids still in St. Louis?  It's so fun to hear from you!!  I have hardly seen or spoken with anyone from SMN in many years except for the 40th reunion.  Marsha Bainbridge was in my medical school class at KUMC.  So was Dwight Cashier who unfortunately died last year of complications of Parkinson's.  I only learned that from a retired medical school classmate who was Dwight's cadeaver partner!  I ran into Steve Osa one day at Barnes in about 1980 or so when Steve was doing an endocrinology fellowship at Wash U.  He then went into practice in Colorado and I haven't seen or spoken with him since.  I do speak with Lance Lichtor frequently.  He lived down the street from us on Neosho growing up.  Went to the University of Chicago for undergraduate and medical school, became an anesthesiologist, married another doctor from Boston, lived in Chicago, Iowa City, Boston, and then New Haven, Connecticut, where he retired from Yale Medical School last year.  We're always talking about the horrible politics in medicine.  I guess that's in other fields as well but hope you haven't experienced too much of that.   Thanks again for reaching out!  Let us know if you are ever in St. Louis.
 Chip
 
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Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 25, 2020 5:59 PM
Thanks for your comments, Chip. Yes! Mr. Maach was a fabulous teacher, and I do remember the vegetable roll. You mentioned two people that I remember well - Steve Osa and Lance Lichtor. Steve and I were in the same youth group for several years. Good old Roeland Park! My youngest brother's family still lives there and their two daughters go to SMN. You were blessed to have had your parents until they were 92! We live in Lenexa now, but love to visit St. Louis now and then. I believe the Westward Expansion Museum under the Arch is one of my all time favorits museum. I have worked in ministry in Plymouth, MN., St. Louis, KCMO, and Leawood, KS. during my career - never a dull moment!
Thanks, again for reaching out. Think about visiting KC for our SMN 70th Birthday Party.
Sherry
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Marilyn Hicks Mokhtarian on June 21, 2020 8:29 PM
During the crazy days of the pandemic- who would have dreamed we would be calling a friend to say- " I know where toilet paper is !" My husband successfully defended his dissertation during these days. I missed not going to K-State to see him walk across the platform and being able to have the party celebration I had planned for him! I will say we had some friends show up at our door (6 feet away) after they heard the news to give him a graduation present of 12 rolls of toilet paper ! We also received a gift card to order Jack Stack . I don't know which was more appreciated !!

 I have missed getting together with friends for lunch and missed gathering together with friends at church.

But on the other hand -I have gone thru my whole library of books by Madeleine L'Engle – one of my favorite authors !

Blessings to all, Marilyn Hicks Mokhtarian in Nampa, Idaho
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Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 20, 2020 10:50 PM
What I Did During our Stay At Home Time
 
Over the years we have made four interstate moves, accompanied by boxes that have never really been dealt with, much less opened. Some have moving company stickers layered over older ones. We 
inherited the family histories, old photos and memorabilia from several generations past for both Harvey and Hilleary families. It has become a family joke among my children that I will someday get to this project. This was the time, and one of our spare bedrooms has become the sorting floor for these physical memories.
 
I found old love letters.  How very interesting that in the very near past we were a society of letter writers. I have unearthed some real treasures mostly between 1950-1990. I have envelopes with 6-cent stamps, and bundles of old love letters that Tom and I wrote to one another before we ended up at KU together. Back then, long distance phone calls were too expensive. In fact, I even found a note from Tom with a phone bill for $16.00 attached bearing an admonishment from his parents that we really should write more letters. Much to our children and grandchildren’s chagrin we have decided to have a ceremonial burning of the old love letters! Some secrets should stay private.
 
Treasures from the boxes include some fun SMN items such an assortment of Mission Newspapers; Spirit Sticks (how did I end up with those?); an activity card; athletic letters; a graduation announcement; old drama programs; local menus and matchboxes, and more. 
From photos, I have learned who my great, great, great grandparents are on my mother’s side; found a birth certificate from 1872 written in Swedish from Tom’s family; and joined Ancestry in order to pursue a new, or at least overly delayed, passion to learn more about our geneology.
If I had to use one word to put a positive spin on my “time at home” I would surprisingly use “Connection.”
 
Like many of you, we have become people of Zoom/Facetime/Webex technologies. We have used it for business meetings, ministry, virtual happy hours and family visits. We have connected with grandchildren through the barriers of doors or windows, and connected with news sources, both television and media in new ways (and were guilty of news overload in the beginning days of the pandemic). We’ve done our share of driveway fun with wine and camp chairs as a way to see more of our neighbors, and we’ve hiked and taken short road trips to connect with nature in important ways. We have been thankful to connect to our church through online and televised services – and have been surprised at how it can still hold so much meaning for us. 
 
It shouldn’t surprise me. I do believe that we humans were created for relationship… I guess now I know that, thankfully, we will innovate and go to great lengths to achieve it.
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