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Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


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Using Aikido as an Effective Coping Mechanism
by James Loeser

  Page One

Bill came home from work, threw his coat and bag on the kitchen chair, and grabbed a beer from the refrigerator. He cracked open the beer and reflected: Wow, what a week! I can’t recall a crazier five days. Between a hefty bonus on the new contract, the fire at the manufacturing plant, and a sixteen-year-old kid crashing into my new 4-runner, I’m having trouble sorting it all out. I am certainly glad the weekend is here. After Bill took a swig of his beer, he looked up and saw the blinking red light on the answering machine. He unconsciously pushed the play button and half-listened to a three messages. The fourth message caught his attention, "..this is Nurse Selin from Dr. Kenmore’s office. The results from your genetic test have arrived from the lab, and Dr. Kenmore wishes to speak with you immediately. He will be at Messen County Hospital all day Friday and well into the evening. Please call the hospital and arrange an appointment."

Bill momentarily froze, eyes unfixed, breathless, thoughtless.

He had forgotten all about his visit to the geneticist last week. He went to see his physician, Dr. Kenmore, about four weeks back. Bill was experiencing recurrent headaches and neck spasms. His physician gave him the standard stress test that revealed an elevated blood pressure, but nothing that called for concern. However, as a precaution, Dr. Kenmore wanted Bill to see a colleague for a genetic screening. Bill figured his headaches were simply stress related, and he assured his physician it would pass as soon as he closed an upcoming business deal. Grudgingly, Bill went to see Dr. Kenmore’s colleague, a geneticist, and after several unpleasant, but minimally invasive, medical procedures, the physician sent Bill on his way.

And now something was seriously wrong.

Bill called the hospital and arranged to see his physician. Bill sat in the waiting room only four minutes before Dr. Kenmore tersely greeted him and lead him into a private office. Bill was alarmed. Dr. Kenmore delicately informed Bill that he had tested positive for Huntington’s chorea: a rare, genetic disease characterized by progressive degeneration of the central nervous system, usually fatal in 10-15 years.

Bill’s entire perspective on life had been demolished.

(Continued on Next Page)

1999, James Loeser.  All rights reserved

James Loeser has his M.S.from Northwestern University, in Biotechnology - Specializing in Medicinal Chemistry /
Bioinformatics. He is a student of Aikido and a dental student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
1978 C. Matrasko

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