The Key of Making Our Personal Best Out of “The Holiday Season!”

With Thanksgiving behind us, we are one step ahead to walking yet another year through the labyrinth that is  “politically correct” labeled now, “The Holidays!”

We still have to walk through the narrow corridor of Black Friday and then the frenzy of getting whatever is left over if one didn’t wake up at 2:00 AM on Friday to get the technological gear in  fashion and demand this year! What would our child say? Imagine the disappointment experienced and the life-lasting trauma of not having whatever game, jewelry or piece of clothing one wished for… Forget war caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD!) The trauma of not having exactly what one wished, when they wished it! That IS real trauma!!! Yes I am sarcastic because as a society, in general, we lost perspective of what is really important in life and it would be nice to regain perspective!

Perhaps, our peace of mind is possible if we only take a few steps in the opposite direction.

The Key to our sanity  could be easier than we think:


What if, instead of stuffing ourselves with 3500 worth of calories at the Thanksgiving table, we eat on a SMALLER PLATE. What if we also participate in one of the many projects organized by churches and communities everywhere and feed the homeless. It is the truth that there is more joy in giving than in receiving, if we would only have the courage to try.

What if instead of beginning the endless chase for more “things” which tomorrow will be forgotten in a corner, we give gifts from our true heart, not as much our pockets.

Let’s give a book of services one could perform himself or herself. A massage? A cooked meal on a night our partner is tired?  A gift of a trip to a near by park and pick nick when spring arrives. How about those chores she expects you to do and you say “later” and she ends up doing them? Yes, I am talking about taking the garbage out!

How about if like me, you are an empty nest?  What the hack does that mean? Empty?

Once a doctor asked me, “Do you live alone?”

“No,” I responded.

He looked at me puzzled: “You circled divorced, on the form…”

Yes, divorced, not alone.

“I live with three dogs and a parrot. Every morning, when I go in the kitchen to make my coffee, Max, my African Grey, greets me with, “I LOVE you!” And he means it!

How many people are that lucky, to be told how much they are loved, sincerely, every morning? The KEY to this blissful relationship is that I say it back to him: I love you too!

Oh, and the benefit, African Grey live to be 80 years old, so this is a long term blessing and joy which I will pass on to my daughter, unless I live to be 150!!!

Next week I will travel to see friends in Florida. I could not afford holiday prices, so I settled for the cheapest travel, between the two major holidays, when  plane tickets doubled. I assure you the ocean will be equally beautiful the day before Christmas.

It’s all in our minds! 

Any day could be what we make it to be! The key of  being content, peaceful, dare I say… happy and staying on track, OUR  personal track,  not that of the big corporations, is to have confidence in our ideas and to not be afraid to have the “traditions fit our needs and not us fit into the traditions!”

Politically “Correct!” Is It Dumb, or… IS It Dumb???

With Thanksgiving  to be celebrated this week and Christmas around the corner, we are faced again with the life shattering question: Do I wish someone Happy Thanksgiving, or even more important, dare I say, “Merry Christmas?” May be, to be on the safe side I replace it all with “Happy Holidays!”

I found myself falling into this trap and buying stamps which illustrate a flower and not Mary and Jesus and buying cards which are either blank inside, so I could write my personal message, or say, ” Happy Holidays!” Well, this year I solved the problem, I’m cutting no more trees, I am NOT sending any cards. The money spend on cards could go to Salvation Army and help the poor regardless of which “holiday” they celebrate

I was already aggravated by the “Happy Holidays” dilemma, when I have noticed another general effort to make our society “politically correct.”

When I dial any commercial company I have the choice to press 1 for Spanish,  which I don’t, because I don’t need the service. Last week I called my health insurance company to compare  health plans. After going through all the computarized Aunt Judy’s of the world who, in a calm voice stated over and over “may be I could help you?” “Did you say…” No, no no please, I scream in a voice that makes Judy stop for a second, ” I NEED to speak to a HUMAN!”

At last I get a human. He is polite. I explain what I need, he responds back and we converse in ENGLISH for at least five minutes,  and I explain to him in detail my complex needs: I need to pay less for my health insurance! As we are in the mist of the conversation, speaking in ENGLISH,  suddenly he probably remembers the company’s training and asks me:  “Do you need a translator, or are you comfortable speaking in English?”

I am speechless! We have  been speaking in English for a while. I stated my needs, he replied. What does this mean, that some people are so brain-washed that they dare not use common sense  to judge:

If this person and I SPOKE in English for a while, clearly she speaks and understands English! If she didn’t, HOW would she even understand my asking, ‘do you need a translator?’ asked in ENGLISH?

As millions other American citizens,  I have an accent because I came to the U.S in my twenties. I also hold a B.A. in English and Romanian and am a translator. I also hold a M.S. in Counseling and Clinical Psychology from an accredited U.S. college, I am a publish author in English… I consider myself bilingual. If I didn’t speak English, I would have pressed ONE for Spanish which is spoken in Spanish by the computer voice at the beginning of the menu.

Why do we assume? I might be comfortable speaking Mandarin…
I am wondering what would he have done if I asked for a translator in  the Mandarin language?

I applaud the idea of politeness, of being aware of everyone’s needs but isn’t it taking it too far? After all we made a choice to be in America, perhaps it would be nice to make an extra effort and learn the language of the land?

Perhaps, if I have a cross as a necklace and I converse with someone in English for a while, “the assumption” could be, this person is a Christian, so wishing “Merry Christmas,” is appropriate, and if she spoke with me in English for ten minutes, it is okay to “assume,” the person does not need a translator.

In conclusion: People use your brains!

Oh! Happy Holidays”:) EVERYONE!

When The Doctor Says It’s ALL in YOUR HEAD !!! The Story of How H-Pylori bacteria As The Cause of Stomach Ulcer

How many times  have we been told: Your blood work is fine, EVERYTHING came back negative…”

You are at first happy, then another feeling creeps up in your already confused mind:  Everything is perfect, but I have pain, I am sick, I loose weight I…

If you are like me, you keep asking questions and most times are gently made believe, “it’s all in your head, a psychiatrist perhaps?

I decided to write this post so that perhaps others will understand EXACTLY what it means “your tests came back positive.

In one sentence, it means, we tested for ALL the bacteria, funguses, all that we KNOW exists, but this does NOT mean you don’t have a germ which hasn’t been discovered yet. But, if we don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist!

A honest statement would be: Your tests came back fine for ALL we know it exists!

My guess as to why they don’t make this correct statement? Imagine the patients confusion. What do you mean, bacteria which was not discovered YET? Wasn’t everything discovered?

Well, to support my story, I am going to share with you the story of how h-pylori, a bacteria, was discovered , what  what it took for the “traditional” medical world to accept it, and how BEFORE it was “discovered” people going to the doctor complaining of excruciating stomach pain due to gastritis or peptic ulcers,  were told the cause was STRESS! RELAX!!! 

What it took to convince the medical community that the cause of peptic ulcers is not stress but a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, and the CURE is ANTIBIOTICS NOT RELAXATION!

H-Pylori was first identified by the Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren in 1981. Further research was done by the British scientist Stewart Goodwin.

Before 1981, gastritis and gastric ulcers was believed to have no microbial connection. A link however, was discovered between duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer (which is not in our head!)

The H-pylori bacteria exists in the stomachs of about 50% of the world population, in the upper intestinal track and up to 85% have no symptoms (Wikipedia, 20014)

The h-pylori, to make everyone’s life even more miserable, HIDES in the stomach mucus. It avoids the acidic environment in the stomach by using its “flagella” to burrow into the mucus lining, all the way to the epithelial level cells, where… SURPRISE!!! acidity is more neutral and bacteria could LIVE!!

It is the acidity in our stomachs whose “duty is to KILL’ bad bacteria. This is why if we take anti-acids for long periods of time, we KILL the acid and our stomachs  and become an easy target for bacterial infections! This topic will be addressed in another post, as it is a multi-billion dollar business and I need to research it more.

Lets go back to our researchers in Australia… so… they discovered the h-pylori in 1982!!! They presented the results to the powers to be in the world of “to be or not to be in our heads,” and the decision was it was in the scientists heads. So, ulcers continued to be caused by STRESS!!! 

What it took to convince the traditional medical world that the cause of peptic ulcers and gastritis was a bacteria and NOT STRESS!!!

In March of 2010, DiscoverMagazine. com  –issue for the curious,  by Pamela Weintraub published an article entitled:

The Doctor Who Drank Infectious Broth, Gave Himself an Ulcer, and Solved a Medical Mystery! 

You guessed it, or may be not, this is how incredible this is!

To prove to the medical world that ulcers could be cured by antibiotics and is not stress related, Dr. Marshall INFECTED himself with H-PYLORI and by taking antibiotics CURED himself! 

Victory at last! It was no longer in our heads, it was caused by a bacteria and curable with antibiotics!!!

In 2005 the discoverers of h-pylori, a BACTERIA as the  cause of peptic ulcers and gastritis, were awarded The NOBEL PRIZE!!!(

How many years did it take? You do the math!

Did I say they first discovered h-pylori bacteria as the cause of ulcers in 1981? And was the Noble Prize awarded in 2005, after D. Marshall infected himself to demonstrate that the cure was ANTIBIOTICS NOT RELAXATION???

Today, a simple blood test determines the presence of h-pylori and at last millions who subscribed to meditation techniques take antibiotics for their stomach ulcers and gastritis, and get healed. Now, meditation is another topic, and do NOT stop practicing it, but for other reason, not ulcers!

So… next time you feel like an R rated word which starts with  SH and ends in t (SH-t,) think of this incredible story and that the science, the pathologists, the doctors do not know it all.

New bacteria and viruses are discovered everyday.

Perhaps it is time to be humble and open-minded and admit, because we do not know it all, it is called  THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE!

Answers to This Blog’s Computer Generated Comments (Part II)

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for following my blog and for taking the time to comment.

Many colleague bloggers  continue to ask  if I encounter ANY of these problems. These are RARE comments, but because they exist and other colleagues ask if I run into them, I decided to share the truth of the  computer generated comments…as I am suspicious of them, and hope the information that follows will be useful to many.

As you know, the goal of my posts is to bring you stories and facts which hopefully will not only help you in your daily lives, but do it in an entertaining way. Everything shared is true and it represents a personal point of view, so, it may or it may not be shared by everyone. As the saying goes, ‘one cannot be all things to everyone all the time, but some things to some people, some of the time.’

Judging by a  great majority of comments, I am happy to let you know that the goal seems to be accomplished and indeed most of the readers confirm that they  benefit from subscribing (following)  this blog. Schemes have been discovered and hopefully stopped, practical tips on, for instance,  how to improve one’s credit, or donate money to a favorite charity and make sure it reaches who or what one intended, or, tips on dating a younger man, one of the most popular posts. I guess love is close to our hearts… even on the internet.

However, once in a while, because I am ONE PERSON doing it ALL, I feel that writing a post about ‘ computer generated comments,’ is the best, most efficient way to clarify certain questions asked by fellow bloggers.

Honestly, I do try to read and answer each comment. I must thank Word Press for protecting the blog from a majority of computer generated comments because I lack the technical abilities necessary to administer the blog. I also have to confess, I am dyslexic, which makes it even more challenging to be  ‘perfect.’ I am a writer. That’s it… ONE woman who does it all imperfectly, because I am also not computer generated literate, but an totally imperfect  human. I promise, I do my best.

Rarely I receive comments which note that there are some typos in the posts. Well… yes, there are typos and only if I  start charging  for the content, which takes me hours of research, and judging by a majority of readers’ comments, HEPLS in people’s everyday life,  I will have the funds available to hire a proof reader (but I am NOT!)  All that comes to mind is to suggest,  that if someone is offended by typos,  please stop reading the blog. I will not be offended.

There are a few comments which indicate that the site “loads slow,” and ask if “other readers,” have the same “problem?” The ONLY problem is that right UNDERNEATH such  comments, there are 5-6 comments which praise the platform that I use for how FAST it loads. Such contradictory comments, with a vast majority affirming that the site loads just fine, make me believe that something doesn’t add up… and I believe the 5-6 comments letting me know the site loads just fine. Yes, along the lines of being human, again…

Another small category of comments, starts by saying the person dropped the phone in the toilet, or a mother went to the shore with a baby and something pinched the baby and she (the mother) had to “share with somebody,” and she knew her story had nothing to do with a post about schemes or dating, or insomnia, but “she just had to share,” with ME. If I check the name of the originating site of the writer of such comments, many times, the originating site sells viagara or is a porn site… Just like the people who just HAVE to share and found ME as the recipient of their confession, I, in my turn, have to confess that I do NOT post comments sent from any type of sexually explicit sites. Not in that market, lol.

What else? Oh, yes, the comments written in poor English. While I post comments which have ‘typos,’ just because I commiserate with everyone who is dyslexic, I would not post a comment which has no connection to the post commented upon, and all it provides in the ‘comment,’ is  a link to their site.

Then, there were a few comments praising the ‘sound quality,’ in the post. Wow!!! Well… wow! the posts have NO sound track and rarely have images. Why? Confession,again, because my technical abilities are not a strength of this one woman show…

What else? Oh yes, the very long comments which to make sure one of the words used hits the meaning, simply take our good old friend, the dictionary, and write ALL the meanings given to a word, may be, just may be, ONE is the correct meaning. Another confession, such comments, when the Word Press ‘protector’ doesn’t protect me, is sent to ‘delete permanently.’

The last category I would like to mention, ‘how do I FOLLOW’ your blog. Again, thanks to my lack of technical abilities, since hundreds of people do follow the blog, I assume that if the icon called ‘follow,’ is chosen and thank you very much, one clicks on it, then one will receive an email when a new post is published. Then, there is the opposite, someone clicked ‘follow’ but now asks me to ‘un-follow,’ because they receive everyone’s comments… I am very sorry but I don’t have the ability to manipulate anyone’s accounts. Frankly, personally I would feel violated in my rights of privacy if suddenly I am unsubscribed from a blog or newsletter by someone else, but myself. When I decide to unsubscribe to anything, I look all the way down the page. Generally, in small print, there is an icon, ‘unsubscribe.’ I click on it and is not guaranteed, but generally, it works.100_0502

I hope now, that I shared these ‘secrets,’ you will not unsubscribe, and we will continue together on a life journey, which I do my very best to make useful and humanly typo-less (is there such a word?) and most importantly, USEFUL.

Wishing everyone a great weekend, and please know that I appreciate everyone’s human comments and especially when we all learn from one another, as it was the situation of Buyer Beware! The DM Face Creams, which has THREE updates, as the scheme seems to still be alive, but hopefully not well!

Best wishes,


The Power of Good Touch– How to Tell the Difference Between a good Doctor, an Excellent Doctor and a Doctor Who You Never Wish to Relplace!!!

The Power of Good Touch– How to Tell the Difference Between a good Doctor, an Excellent Doctor and a Doctor Who You Never Wish to Relplace!!!.

The Power of Good Touch– How to Tell the Difference Between a good Doctor, an Excellent Doctor and a Doctor Who You Never Wish to Relplace!!!

How many times, as a young woman, I was told to go to a certain doctor because the clinic or hospital with which the doctor was affiliated are conveniently located? How many times was I told to see a doctor because he or she was a friend’s friend, or had a short wait list, or no wait list at all?

The concept that a doctor is a doctor, is a doctor, could be compared to the idea that I could paint as well as Salvador Dali, or sing like Adele  or act like Sally Field, and the list goes on and on…The truth is, I cannot! I wish!

After the publication of my Memoir, ‘The Gypsy Saw Two Lives,’ a High School friend from Romania, asked me: “Where did you learn how to write in English?”

He truly didn’t understand why having had the same teachers of English, I ‘learned,’ but he didn’t!  He, on the other hand, was an architect. Geometry and drawing and the gift of design came easy to him.

How could I explain to my friend that each person enters the journey of LIFE with a gift. We all do, but many have difficulties finding ours. It does not mean we don’t have a gift, it only means it is hard to detect it, or we don’t try enough, or  many times those responsible for our development and choices of careers direct us forcefully in the direction they wish. Many times, a parent couldn’t follow his or her dream and forces the child to fulfill the dream of the parent. This could result in confused or even worse, unhappy lives. Many times, at the end of the journey, a person looks back and has to admit in horror that nothing was accomplished of what they would have liked! Their dream turned to dust!

Such sad endings don’t mean the person wasn’t born with a gift. It only means the dream was lost somewhere on the way. The possibilities of  lost dreams are many. There are cross roads and dead ends, and clearings with lakes or running rivers, or oceans and seas …

A brief description would be: TEMPTING!!! to get lost, easier to take a short-cut.

Yes, it is tempting to take an easy way, or to avoid taking the responsibility of a path. When one makes a choice, there is the possibility to win, to be happy, successful, but there is another possibility we all fear: to fail, to be sad, unhappy, to feel  one failed!

Who would wish such an ending: to have lived and to reach the end and look back to see nothing… or even worse, to only see scenes one dislikes, or hates or worse… feels ashamed of!

How do I know  so much about the winding path of life, one might ask?

The answer is simple:

I was one of the manipulated, I was pushed ( read forced) to wonder on various paths which weren’t mine. They were my mother’s. Today, as I approach the stage of life when soon I will have to look back and draw a line and the sign = ??? I see my mother  who was a doctor, a good but unfulfilled doctor, simply because to be a doctor was not her dream! Her dream was to be an Architect and she projected her dream on me!

Today,  I’d call what she did, “manipulation.” At the time when it  happened, I called it motherly love. It was such a warm, comfortable feeling to feel loved by my mother. However, the price for that feeling was a confused youth. Changing careers so many times, I lost count…

Ultimately, after my mother died with her dream of me being an architect unfulfilled, I re-positioned myself, took off the blindfold and started to try various paths which were hidden from me. Soon I discovered my love of writing. It is true, one could ‘learn’ how to write business letters, essays for school tests. This was not the type of writing my architect friend was asking me about. He wanted to know how and where I learned how to write so that many others don’t get bored and throw my writing away after reading the first two lines. That answer was simple: A gift from God and work!

Late in life, I also discovered that my dream, not my mother’s was to be in the helping profession. This was how after I finished my B.A. in English and Romanian, I went to graduate school, and earned my Master of Science in Counseling and Clinical Psychology.

I am sure, by now, the readers of this article might ask themselves, Why is she telling us all of this and how does it connect to being a good doctor?  

If you made it so far into this post, please bear with me a little more…

It is only human, by my standards, to look back and contemplate my life and accomplishments before  I have surgery, especially when it requires general anesthesia. This was what I experienced yesterday, a fairly difficult surgery which triggered the thoughts I share with you now.

My kind neighbor dropped me off and picked me up from the hospital. I entered the hospital alone. I walked the long corridors alone. I pressed the button in elevator D, alone. I was in the waiting room alone. I made the mistake to check around me and I was the only person unaccompanied by a family member. When I realized that, I felt not only alone, but LONELY and SAD!!! I promised my readers to always tell the truth: My heart was broken, what was left of it.

The staff at Pinnacle Hospital made up for my lack of family. I cannot speak any higher of their kindness. Perhaps they felt sorry for me, but the well of tears  had dried already.

After having been asked a few times, my age, why was I there, and the question I like the most, on what side will I have  surgery, I was wheeled in the operating room.

My surgeon,  Angela, Soto Hamlin, M.D. came close to me, as the intravenous, general anesthesia medication started to flow towards my fearful body. Then the miracle happened. Dr. Hamlin reached out and held my hand! In a fraction of a second, my sadness, fear, but especially loneliness disappeared! Her hand expressed a million feelings and one more, but in one  sentence, I would describe  how I felt as a GIFT FROM GOD!

The last thing I recall before I fell asleep, was her touch which spoke to me: Don’t worry, I am here, I am with you and everything will be fine. You are not alone or lonely.

When I woke up, two hours later,  I could  still feel my surgeon’s wonderful touch on my hand.

I could still feel it NOW, because her touch  will be in my heart forever, a gift from God, when I needed His reassurance the most.

Is Dr. Hamlin a good surgeon? She is an exceptional surgeon, but what would make me follow her no matter where she’d work is her sensitivity as a human being. Her Godly touches from all points of view, when I needed them most.

P.S. Late at night, after reading tens of reassuring messages via Facebook and texts, my friend, whose love and purity of feelings have supported me all my life, wrote  after she called  first, to tell me, my daughter, a M.D. and OBGYN, sent my friend a brief email upon learning about my surgery:

“I will pray for her.”

I felt so lucky, with her busy schedule, my daughter had found the time to  write the email and pray for me, her Mom. What I truly hoped was that she would hold a stranger’s hand, just like Dr. Hamlin held mine. I hoped that stranger, because of my daughter’s reassuring  and honest touch would feel less lonely.

There is a price we pay for everything in life…

Is that good or bad? It depends on our deeds. 

In Conclusion:

Thank God for Dr. Hamlin’s Heavenly touch and her heart of gold!