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Fond Farewells

(FYI this is a repost) Sorry for being a stranger the last few weeks. I have been quite busy, for which I am very grateful during these tumultuous times. Inflation remains a challenge, and with the midterm elections fast approaching, the political rhetoric and hostilities are reaching new heights. The Fentanyl crisis is alarming, to say the least, with another fentanyl drug bust in the Charleston area last month. Crime in Charleston has been troubling, with gunshots on King Street over Labor Day weekend and news that the accused perpetrator is only 16. Then, there was a school lockdown on Friday when 2 students brought guns to Philip Simmons High School. Across the pond, Queen Elizabeth passed away after an incredible 70-year reign. Her funeral is today. The Queen's passing is not only momentous but to me symbolizes the end of an old order. Yes, the monarchy survives, but the Queen brought such loyalty, dignity, and grace to her title, and time will tell what kind of mark King Charles will make on history. Over the weekend, I watched much of the pomp and circumstance that was being televised, as well as a show that chronicled Charles' life. I guess it's a sign of my own age, but it is hard for me to grasp that Princess Diana was only 36 when she was killed.

The biographical show on King Charles highlighted the bullying he was subject to during his school-aged years. According to the tv show, the bullying was very intense. Obviously, bullying is nothing new, though I do think the advent of social media has dramatically changed things...or has it? Could the problem be that we are doing a horrible job as a society in dealing with bullying? Despite the public discourse about and education on bullying, the problem does not seem to be improving. But is it any wonder? Children emulate adults, and adults are perpetrators of bullying as well. A day doesn't go by when I hear someone lament "how mean people are these days." What is happening? Is this all a result of Covid? A more likely scenario is that Covid and the lockdowns exacerbated a trend that had already begun.

And just when I start to get down about the state of things, I hear the song, "Running Up That Hill", by Kate Bush, a British singer-songwriter. The song makes me smile because it reminds me of the 80s, 1985 to be exact, a time that was much simpler for me. It was an era with great music (in my opinion), cheesy MTV videos, big hair, only basic, rudimentary computers, and no cell phones! Ronald Reagan was the President, and while there were those who did not support him, he had been unanimously elected in 1984 in a landslide victory against Walter Mondale. There was much more of a sense of unity. I find it quite interesting that this hit song from the '80s is now at the top of the Billboard charts once again. I also find it ironic that the younger generations are finding the song appealing. We are living in an increasingly agnostic society, yet the song is about an appeal to God. In fact, the song was supposed to be called, "A Deal with God." However, the original song title was changed because the record producers were concerned that a reference to God in the title would be viewed as sacrilegious by some (such as listeners in Ireland). Funny how things change. The song is more specifically about an appeal to God to have Ms. Bush and her male partner change places so they could better understand one another and their differences. Given the meaning of the song, its popularity is also curious with more and more people identifying as non-binary.

Another popular song by Kate Bush was a duet with Peter Gabriel called, "Don't Give Up." The lyrics to this song are actually very relevant in today's troubling times. Too many people are suffering from depression and despair, and suicide rates are increasing. No matter how difficult things get, the song reminds us to be hopeful. Life is definitely not easy, but we cannot give up! Roger Federer, the GOAT of Men's Tennis, who announced his retirement last week in an eloquent letter posted on Twitter, captured it beautifully. He was grateful for his career and everything tennis afforded him, but he was grateful for the tears as well as the joys, he appreciated the challenges and did not cower from them, and he valued his competitors or adversaries on the court. There was no angst in his letter, only appreciation, grace, and hope. Here is the letter, as I find it inspirational. I hope you do, too, as you start your week, even if you don't follow tennis.

Now I'm off to start my week. This week is special because I am finally going to launch that podcast I teased about earlier this year. I kept procrastinating, in part because I hate to hear my voice recorded! I am going to be expanding on the originally planned topic, dealing with breast implants and their safety. This is particularly relevant since the FDA announced another alert 2 weeks ago about breast implant safety, both saline and gel-filled, smooth and textured. So stay posted! Hope you enjoy it, and any feedback is appreciated. And before I sign off, I want to mention that if you had too much fun watching college football this weekend (excluding the Gamecock fans), and are exhausted, give Kelly a call for a B12 shot or iv infusion to boost your energy!

I hope you have a great week!

'Til next time,

Heidi Williams, MD



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