Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin passed away on March 7, 2013 at age 94
*Her name, information, and pictures are used with her son’s permission.
I’d like to tell you about a very special person: Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin. She was one of my professors, a mentor, role model, and dear friend. We knew each other about 30 years. And it’s quite interesting, that, although I do not remember too many birthdays, I never forgot hers. And I must have really admired her, because I’ve adopted her distinctive laugh!
It was in Nursing School, in our Community Health class, that I first met her. She was the professor and a very striking personality. First of all, she was a senior citizen. Then, she was happy and full of life; had beautiful, silky, white hair, twinkles in her eyes, and her posture was straight and strong; she was quick and light in her movements; and she filled the classroom with her enthusiasm for the subject we were all there to learn.
She was about 67 years old at that time. And her words and actions were not what I was used to in older folks. Some of my classmates even felt that she was a bit nutty. Because as she shared about her life, we learned that she ran and won medals in Senior Olympics, rode a bike, and swam in the lake in front of her house [the one with the snakes]. Back in 1980 I don’t think any of us students knew seniors who did things like that. Today many seniors are quite health-minded and active.
Mrs. Hamlin described herself like this:
“I have been a vegetarian for 50 years, take no supplements or medicine, have high bone density [and no osteoporosis], and have never had any major surgery.” From her book, Ride With the Wind, P. 29
She was definitely different, but no nutty professor. As I observed and listened to her, I concluded that she was ‘sharp as a tack’ [very intelligent], had more energy than most of us students, and was onto something that I’d better pay attention to!
Why was this lady like this when so many of her age group [and even younger] were full of aches, pains, and medications? Here is how: she not only taught us students about the laws of health, but she lived them every day! She was a walking advertisement that using these simple principles really worked.
And she didn’t keep this ‘good news’ to herself. Three ways she shared it were:
1. Her “Prevent the 3 Cs” Classes – which were a continuing education series teaching folks how to help avoid Coronary [heart attacks], Cancer, and CVA [strokes]. Community members, and university faculty, staff, and students were all invited to attend. To start, everyone got blood tests to see what their risks were. Then there were classes to learn about each of the 3Cs, and how to put into practice the laws of health. At the program’s end, blood was tested to check improvements. Many were helped. I was also helped.
It was in her 3Cs class that I first learned that women who eat the most animal fats are inclined to have the highest risks for breast cancer. Before then I’d never heard of any connection between diet and cancer. Today we are hearing much more about this relationship. **[Eating much animal protein and sugar also increases risks for breast and other cancers as well].
It’s been a while since we finished Principle of Health #1. Before going on to Principle #2, I’d like to share a few more things that I’ve learned in almost 29 years of living with MS.
Eating regularly matters. I need to eat every 4 to 5 hours, or my muscles get weak and spasm. Possibly from my blood sugar dropping after 4 hours.
Fellowship is powerful. I’m noticing that whenever I spend enjoyable time with my family, friends, or church family that I always sleep really well with few or no muscle spasms. Experts say that laughter releases endorphins – “the feel good” hormones [so do exercise, singing, and other things we enjoy]. So, I’m guessing that the good times I had talking, laughing, eating yummy food, and even playing games, caused my endorphins to be released. Then they relaxed my nerves and muscles so much that I was able to sleep well. Has anyone else had this experience?
People need people. We are social beings and are meant to be around and share with each other. Whether we share a cause, a conversation, or good food. Being alone happens, but it’s not good, normal, or healthy to remain that way. It’s also true that sometimes we get cut-off by others or left out from what others are doing. That hurts. I learned that many, many years ago. I wondered why I wasn’t invited to the homes of people in my circle of association. Others were. I asked a friend about it. She said, that because of MS, people perceived me as being needy [I wasn’t even using a cane back then]. Wow! Has anyone else heard that before?
After getting over that shock, I decided to invite people home for lunch even though I wasn’t a good cook. These were nice folks who were also left out, and we had wonderful times. Then I once heard someone, in a MS support group, say that no one ever sent him holiday cards. That inspired me not wait for anyone to call, send me cards, or be friendly. My thing is: Don’t wait for others to do for you. You reach out. Do it nicely because someone might need it. And don’t expect anything in return. It’s so much fun!
Drinking flaxseed water is awesome. It helps improve my elimination, steadiness, dark circles around my eyes, puffiness under eyes, and any joint or ankle pains. How to make it? In a coffee grinder or blender, grind brown or gold flaxseeds into a fine meal [I use brown]. Then put 1 tablespoon into a cup of hot water. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes [it will get thick]. Then stir and drink. Flaxseeds are tiny seeds that are rich in fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids – needed by the brain and every body cell. They are also a good source of B vitamins [needed by nerves], iron, calcium, protein, and zinc. Flaxseeds reduce inflammation [which increases my MS symptoms], pain, swelling from arthritis, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol; they improve the bones, nails, hair, and skin; and reduce chances for blood clots and tumors. Can use ground seeds on cereals, salads, soups, and in baking [muffins, pancakes, etc.]. Or drink the water. Can also use flaxseed oil [not for cooking]. Take 1 tablespoon daily in juice or by itself. All with MS should be taking some daily supplement for essential fatty acids. Either from flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, Primrose Oil, Grape Seed Oil, or other oil. *Refrigerate leftover ground flaxseeds in tightly covered container.
Drinking Pau D’Arco [Taheebo] herbal tea is also very helpful. I put 2 tea bags in a cup of hot water, let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove bags, stir, and drink. It helps me sleep well with few of no muscle spasms. It is also a blood cleanser; reduces inflammation; inhibits tumor growth; and fights bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
That’s all for now. Hope this helps. See you next time.