“Patient, heal thyself.” (More about that below.) Last night, Bill O’Reilly had quite a lot to say about a tragedy involving a football player, his wife, his child and his coaches:

However, Mr. O’Reilly neglected to mention critical factors that play major components in tragedies like this. I happened to catch a report introduced by Scott Pelly last night on sports-related injuries (“Repetitive brain injuries linked to damage later on in life“.) BRAINS! Every pro, college, and high school football player gets hit in the head repeatedly, many for several years. But, Mr. O’Reilly failed to include that in his “Talking Points” segment last night. If I had my way … (more below). First, here is Bill O’Reilly:

Below the fold, I am sharing a few stories with you about deceased relatives, and myself too:

As I began to say above, if I had my way, guns should be “safe and legal.” Everyone should be licensed to carry a gun. Then, everyone’s guns should hopefully be locked and stored away somewhere safe, under under lock and key. Yes, many of us hunt and enjoy skeet shooting (as many Olympians prove every four years).

Perhaps the federal and state governments (yes, cities and counties too), should somehow make more of an effort to ensure that illegal gun sales are diminished.

Yes, there will always be guns out there, sold at gun shows, by someone sneaking guns in the trunk of their vehicles. But if law enforcement were to make more of an effort to seize those weapons, we’d have fewer incidents like that tragedy that Mr. O’Reilly described.

People such as

Many of you will undoubtedly not like what I’ve written, but I think it is important. Here is why: A long time, a long-deceased relative (no one remembers him anymore, just me) had a shotgun. He got upset one night with a girlfriend and he shot shot her twice, he told me. (Why he told me that, I will never comprehend — just one more detail I learned to add to the information my aunt had shared with me.) It upset me for a time. Back in those days, people didn’t go to prison for as long as Mr. O’Reilly suggested.

Instead, that person was sentenced to prison and served a short time. It was called “a crime of passion, or crime passionnel (in French).” I think that that was enough. He learned his lesson, and was a broken-down, sad man.

But, you see, he played football — a cousin told me that he was an All-American — I don’t know if that is true. But he played football over three years in college and was a popular person. He was brilliant, gifted, athletic, very amusing and witty. He could learn how to compete in any sport he chose (he shot wild pheasants and he played golf too).

Back then, football players wore leather helmets. And I am sure he hit his head repeatedly. A few years ago, I began to wonder why his life ended so sadly. I heard reports about brain injuries and began to piece that puzzle together. Of course, he was brain-damaged.

That’s one story about an uncle who died a long time ago, and I thought you should know. Please note that this also happens to our soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other conflicts as well. Many of us have donated to such causes, one person in particular has given a lot of money to facilities to help these veterans. I hope we all can donate to them as well. Fisher House is one such a place — “Provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers” — and there is the “Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center,” where veterans and their families can read many brochures on their Web site, with materials such as this: “Acute Concussion (mTBI) Educational Brochure.” Please offer these links to anyone you know as well as this hotline:

Crisis Intervention (24/7)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

These are the stats on the soldiers who received brain injuries between 2000 to 2004 (imagine how many more there are since 2004 — 8 more years):































Here is a portion of the article at CBS News:

New research is showing just how dangerous repetitive head injuries — including sports-related concussions — can be.

Scientists studied 85 donated brains, most from professional athletes. Sixty-eight showed signs of chronic brain damage.

Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey achieved glory on the football field, including a Superbowl touchdown in 1971.

But, he was a shell of himself at the end of his life. In 2007, dementia had left him unable to care for himself or understand what was happening to him. Mackey died four years later at the age of 69.

His brain was one of 85 examined in the study by researchers at Boston University and the Boston V.A. Hospital. Lead author Dr. Ann McKee studied the long term consequences of repetitive injuries to the brain caused by concussion.

Major study of athletes’ brains links head injuries to brain damage

“This is something that happens down the road,” McKee said. “The acute trauma is a different injury.”

McKee said there’s no new incident of trauma, but it’s clear the disease is underway. Once the disease is triggered and the longer the patient survives, the more the disease can progress leading to more impairment

[Most studied were athletes, but] the research also looked at veterans of war.

“It really doesn’t matter how the brain trauma occurred — athletic field, battlefield, accident — it’s just the fact they had these injuries” . . . Read more.

(Emphases mine.)

I hope you will read the rest of this article.

We can all make a difference in these soldiers’ lives and in the lives of anyone we know. I wish I had had access to the Internet when my uncle was alive, so I could share this information with him.

Perhaps I could have helped him. But I will never know. I regret that. He loved football, and he wanted to a major football game, but I don’t recall that any of my cousins ever took him to a game.


Last year, another relative died. He was also a brilliant man. He gradually got sicker, and finally somehow he went to a dermatologist who examined his middle finger. Why, I’ve wondered, why didn’t anyone ever notice that mark on his finger. It looked like he had stuck his finger in an ink well. It didn’t look like most skin cancers. I have looked at several images of various types of skin cancer over the years and had never seen any like his until he showed it to me one day. Then they amputated his finger. He fought valiantly, but by then cancer had spread throughout his body. He had one or two brain tumors, bone cancer and liver cancer as well. Why didn’t he go to the doctor? Why didn’t his wife (who’s in a medical field) notice and demand he see a doctor? Why didn’t his own doctor notice?

Well, as I have learned — and if you’ve read my previous posts, you know — you have to be an advocate for yourself. You need to look up information on whatever ails you. Find out all about it. Then find the best physicians nearest to you. Go to them. Explain to them. That’s happened to me.

I read an article at Wikipedia.org about another young man in Southeast Asia who discovered his skin cancer early. He had the same dark blue mark on a finger, just like my other relative had. Luckily, he caught it early. Now, he is in his mid-50s. I couldn’t find the article tonight, or I would share it with you.

Me? I could have a brain tumor. How would I know? All I ever got from local doctors were prescriptions. Now I am moving to a larger city and hope that that is not true. I will get blood work which will provide clues. Then, if need be, I can have a brain scan.

I should rest now. I have the sniffles and a virus, but felt well enough — and angry enough — that I felt compelled to share this information with you.

JUST REMEMBER THIS: DEMAND the attention of good doctors. Don’t bother with typical GPs. Go to specialists. You hear me? (I wish I could wag my finger at you right now!) Be well…. all of you. Write more later.

P.S. T those who have helped me, thank you all. I promise I’ll send you all a note along with a small gift, hopefully soon (just been so busy).