Volume 17, Issue 1 September 2011
Ken Neldner in Retirement
Dear PXE Friends and Families:
Fran has asked that I write a little note to update you, which I am happy to do. I have missed a couple of the last PXE meetings and some of you have been kind enough to notice my absence and inquire where I am. Well, if you have been wondering, continue.
You remember that in the early phase of our lives there were the so-called 3 R’s--reading, writing, and arithmetic. Those 3 R’s, the basics, served me well most of my life. During my early schooling I remember my English teachers telling me to read and review, write and re-write. You, as I, have generally supplemented those R’s with more R’s; we assumed a role in life; often that role included reproduction. We responded to the requirements of our lives and became responsible. We involved ourselves in recreation because we liked it and because we were told it was good for us and it is. We sometimes rested, relaxed, recuperated.
Well, you know how I can go on and I know there are many more R’s I could site. What I want you to know about me is another R and that is the R of retirement—which is why you hear less from me these days.
After I retired from the position as Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, I continued to actively pursue my research interest (another R) in PXE. In the more recent past after the death of my wife I decided to sell my house and move to a retirement center. My new location at the Carillon Windsong retirement community is very nice. It provides me with a two-bedroom/two-bath living space, three meals a day and housekeeping, the last two of which are very helpful since cooking and housekeeping are not among my stronger suits.
Moving has been an all-consuming process which has taken a good deal of my time and energy and which I often feel has not ended because I have not yet completed the reorganization of the disorganization of moving. You’d think I’d have all the time now to accomplish everything I always wanted to do but was unable to complete because of time restraints during my working life. I’m still working to that end. At retirement I thought that the first thing I would do is clean my drawers. Two years later I still plan to clean my drawers! The lesson learned is not to wait 50 to 60 years before sorting and throwing but to cull as you go, or at least periodically.
My life is simple. In line with Ben Franklin’s old proverb I am early to bed and early to rise. You know the supposed result of that line; I’m still waiting. I go to my office every weekday for a few hours around lunchtime. I exercise three to four times weekly. I travel very little. I like to eat. I like to write. I got into the evolution/creation/science debate about four years ago and wrote a book entitled God, Evolution and Natural Selection. The book didn’t sell well (my book on PXE was much more popular), so I’m trying a new and I hope more appealing approach. Also on my list, as documentation for my daughters and their families, is a family biography. I work more slowly. I am healthy.
I have not forgotten PXE. I still have a very strong interest in you and in PXE. You are after all my life’s research. I look forward to the day when medications, maybe such as Avastin and Lucentis, will take care of the worst of PXE problems.
I no longer see patients but I enjoy talking and, if you are inclined, I am glad to receive emails or phone calls or mail.
Best regards and smiles to all of you,
Kenneth H. Neldner, M.D.