Need to know about your alternative and complementary healing possibilities – and conventional medical options? What to do with the kids – or anyone - bored out of their gourds as they recuperate from medical treatment or a trauma?

Here’s soothing reading material that clues you in on: How to pack for hospital stays, How to improve your mood on some of the worst days of your life, What to do when in-laws, outlaws and medical personnel are rude or otherwise harmful to you, Where to turn when you can't afford medical care, medication or other necessities, Easy solutions for preventing appointment scheduling conflicts, and How to deal with disabilities.

Save your sanity and cut your medical costs. Read
It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Lower your stress. Save time and money with this book! Medical and mental health professionals endorse the book on the cover and in their offices. Readers around the world love the print and E-book editions.

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Talk About Your Medicines Month!


27 Tishrei, 5775

The new year has been filled with blessings and heartaches. Normal life. 

The best way to deal with pain is to focus on things that improve your quality of life.

On that topic, the American Recall Center (see the ARC Facebook page) contacted me, to request that I join selected bloggers "... to bring light to a topic that is not often talked about, medication safety."

I've chosen selections from the the EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge book about the misery of taking medications, the "Why ME?" conundrum, and suggestions for improving compliance with taking prescribed medications. 

Keep coming back to this blog for the 5-day series of posts coming up. 

Here's Part 1:

It’s Hard to Cope

The pressure is on. We want to be heroes at saving our own lives, or somebody else wants us to be heroic. Sometimes we feel like quitting this scary situation. As the mental pressure builds, our minds sort of explode. We might start asking "WHY? Why is this happening to me?"

We don't ask that question because we necessarily want an answer. I suspect that what the question is really about is this: We're accusing GOD of having made a mistake- a BIG mistake. We don't believe we deserve the troubles, tribulations and pain that we're in. I'll return to this line of thought in a bit.

Not knowing the answer to "WHY?" can make a suffering person feel infuriated. That can lead to a sense of guilt. We're not supposed to be angry with GOD; we're supposed to accept whatever He gives to us. Acceptance is a process. A normal person needs time to come to grips with their medical crisis. You are normal. You need that time, too. You're normal if you're ready to move on from the pointless speculation and still feel upset. It means you have courage, the ability to take sound action despite your conflicting and/or confusing emotions.

Let's examine the "Why ME?" question a little more. My hunch is that when people ask "Why ME?" they really want to ask, "How can I get out of this situation?" My personal approach is that I start talking to HaShem (GOD) as if I were talking to Him on the phone. I state my case. I review the facts of my history. I've been basically good. I've messed up here and there. I don't understand how to relate to my suffering. I admit that we mortals are supposed to accept whatever HaShem (GOD) gives us and I tell Him that I'm working on that acceptance. I know that each setback is an opportunity to exercise my strengths and to improve on them. I focus on the reality that my prayers are part of my relationship with GOD. I list the things for which I'm grateful, and tell Him so. And I tell Him what I want to happen to me.

Then I work on accepting the situation as it is. At other times I visualize desired improvements. The bonus is that during the whole painful adventure, I sometimes gain insights into behaviors and attitudes that aren’t serving me well. Some of them, I realize, are counterproductive. So I set goals for changing myself for the better. It tends to be a plan that works. You might have had similar experiences. In any case, focus on what’s not serving your interests, explore ideas for productive changes you need to make, and nurture those changes along.

What if you're a person who feels so much guilt about what you did or did not do in life? What if you're afraid that you DESERVE this medical crisis?

And how can you deal with the searing pain of people who callously respond to your questions with trite clichés such as “Why is a crooked letter (and hence a forbidden question),” or “We can never know ‘why’”?
I have two user-friendly responses to those questions:

1.   You need to sort the issues out with a friend, loved one, effective therapist or sensible clergyman/woman. Then you can use the above exercise.

2.   GOD knows we all have misery in our memories. GOD is a realist. Our spiritual heroism comes from grappling with the memories and going forward with/despite/because of and in spite of them (fill in the word or phrase you prefer to use).

Here’s a caveat to keep in mind with some critics who lack insight or sympathy with your situation (this is not a license to wallow in self-pity!): Remind yourself (perhaps your critic, too) that their condescending comments are fueled by a one-upsmanship point of view. They are not appropriate responses to someone experiencing shock and misery. The critic is coming from a position of comfort, failing to empathize, to see life from your point of view.

HaShem (GOD) does not endanger anyone struggling to become a better person with Double Jeopardy. Once we make focused efforts to stop our troublesome behavior (granted, it might take a few tries to succeed), He then credits us with the efforts and ultimately with our successes. We DO NOT get punished for past misdeeds once our character improvement effort is accepted. We are further appreciated for the effort we invested in ridding ourselves of character defects. Forgiven is forgiven, no two ways about it. One road to self-improvement is to ask “Why me?” It works for people genuinely interested in self-improvement, insight and inner peace. Think of the concept that “I’m not what happened to me, I am what and who I choose to become.”

The “Why me” mindset is most definitely not a legitimate tool for manipulators sucking unwarranted sympathy from other people. Being well-adjusted, even happy - no matter what went on in your life - is a personal matter. You need to do your inner work to make your own life better. It is not everyone else’s job. They have their own lives to live.

Still grappling with the concept of a GOD Who’d “do this" to you? I understand. Life is one lo-o-o-n-g lesson in humility. Acceptance is a process amidst uncertainty. There’s no One Size Fits All way to help all of humanity to love GOD with the individual medical or other crises each of us faces. Here’s my suggestion for resolving the dilemma one person at a time: Consider the fact that GOD created the concept of love.

He/She (Hebrew prayers and Jewish texts describe GOD/HaShem in both masculine and feminine pronouns) knows more about the entire scope of love than we do. We mortals only have a tiny peephole into the cosmos, let alone into our hearts or someone else’s. Our comprehension of reality is therefore limited.

You know that parents must permit painful injections into beloved little children: it’s a means of preventing deadly diseases. The tykes wail and scream bloody murder, but doctors and parents/guardians are heroes for facilitating necessary medical care despite the hot tears and juvenile efforts to run away from the scene. Eventually those recipients of shots or terrible-tasting medicines reconcile themselves with the necessity of discomfort to ward off death or disease. We humans submit to surgery and other uncomfortable treatments in order to minimize suffering. We realize that the medical professionals are not cruel for cutting into us or for filling us with chemicals. They are helping us, though our pain and emotional turmoil are part of that helping process. Doctors suffer emotional torment, too. Their goal is not their pain and suffering or ours; it’s the effort to promote healing and to minimize suffering. Medical professionals know that though they’re hurting you, the medical process can help you. GOD works the same way, to a more spiritual degree.

When you go to your ultimate reward and see that Instant Replay of Your Life video we keep hearing about, the one that the Heavenly Court plays after we arrive for Judgment Day, you WILL NOT SEE your misdeeds on screen. GOD forgives you completely. Your enduring concern touches Him deeply and your commitment to being good is a great accomplishment. You did the best you could under your specific circumstances. He will NOT hold the past against you. Why? Because you created a beautiful future with goodness-oriented life.

Click on the book cover above, or on the title at the end of this sentence, to buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Feel the pain, and go forward anyway.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Educate Yourself about Ebola with Facts, not Fiction


18 Tishrei, 5775

Headlines and conversations about Ebola aka Hemorrhagic Fever are scary, and increasingly often.

Rumor-mongers are not improving matters. I suggest that you take their comments with skepticism.

Here are four sensible ways to cope with your concerns about Ebola/Hemorrhagic Fever:

  1. Educate yourself with facts about the Ebola scare, via the World Health Organization Ebola Fact Sheet.
  2. Read the Centers for Disease Control (though some people wonder if Ebola is under any sort of control) fact sheet at Ebola Virus Disease/Hemorrhagic Fever Updates.
  3. Ask your trusted medical professionals about sensible ways to protect yourself and loved ones, and how to behave overall during this frightening time. 
  4. Bolster your efforts with prayers and decent behavior. They can keep you calm. Calmness can help you overall. 

 UPDATE: See WHO's Risk Assessment for Ebola and Arutz 7's "Problematic Questions (second half of the article)".

Epidemiologist Dr David  Dausey declares, in the Washington Post, "Stop the Flights Now."

NEWER UPDATE: Can Protalix Pharmaceuticals produce the CURE for Ebola?

Need to cheer up over some sort of medical, mental or emotional health issue? 

Want to know which worldwide organizations are willing to pay part or all of your specific medical bills?

You need to read the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Fight ignorance with facts.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge: How Happiness can be Achieved!


12 Tishrei

Whew! The 3-weeks-long High Holiday season takes up lots of energy on the Jewish calendar and in personal lives.

I fasted easily on Yom Kipur as usual, and felt more relaxed than I have in decades. Many important personal issues and perspectives are in satisfying order. 

But I prayed hard for many soothing miracles to embrace the earth. What with the Ebola, enterovirus plus other health and safety scares in the headlines, we mortals need those blessings.

Holidays are too often filled with anxiety, anger, misery; Inner and outer pain of any sort. Sometimes the worst comes out in angry, sad or vengeful people just when you want to feel content, safe and secure.

Maybe this can help you to deal with all that:

A real life friend tagged me for The Gratitude Challenge. It's a bit of a game in which a person is asked to name 3 things for which they're grateful, several days in a row.

My Gratitude Challenge schedule is going to be briefer than most due to the High Holiday season (Sukkot begins tomorrow night). 

But some of my thoughts illustrate how, and that, I persevered past some deeply upsetting and painful episodes in my life. I'm sharing a few of thoughts below.

Perhaps they'll help you, too. Please let me know.

I've accepted a Gratitude Challenge (3X daily for 5 days - 2 days due to the Jewish holiday season) though I have a policy of not accepting ANY challenges. PUH-LEEZ don't challenge me with anything, fb friends. This exception to my rule is onl ybecause I have so much to be thankful for that I'm kinda bursting at the seams to let the public know about the bounty.
LikeLike ·  · 

Follow the conversation (join it, please!) until tomorrow.

You can even accept the Gratitude Challenge I gave to my Facebook friends/readers.

Grow your sense of gratitude. Read "Refining Silver" in the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge. It can rev up your emotional life.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Feel happier, one step at a time. It's a process, not an immediate commodity. 


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Patient-Empowering Privacy


4 Elul, 5775

It's a new year, may it be brimming with sweet blessings for the world at large.

I'm clinging to the marvelous moods and spiritual highs of the Rosh HaShana holiday followed by a most meaningful Shabbat spent with precious people. 

I have no words for the love shared between me and my friends, and the love that we share for the Torah-oriented life. I doubt that I'll be on the Internet much for the next day or so, as I stay with and cherish the sensations.

Privacy is so necessary when we need to bolster our emotional lives. So, I'll let Rami Klinstayn sing of those emotions for me. 

May 5775 be a source of unending blessings, worldwide. 

Here are the lyrics, in Spanish and Hebrew (I'll post the English-language version if I finish the translation task in reasonable time):

Es otro viernes, respiro el aire
la luz y la sombra juegan otra vez a atraparse
la mesa está puesta, fotos de infancia en el muro

caravanas blancas vuelven de la sinagoga
y el aroma aquel que me rasguña el corazón
se cuela se cuela y abre puertas
a una pequeña alegría a la misma vieja canción
que ha pasado por nosotros a lo largo de las generaciones

Pequeños regalos
alguien me ha enviado pequeños regalos
fragmentos de convicción, círculos de fe
pequeños regalos alguien me ha enviado
pequeños regalos

Es otro viernes, terraza y periódico
el sol tal como las preocupaciones lentamente se van borrando
melodías simples se arrastran por la ventana
y ya ninguna tormenta esconderá por aquí el silencio

Ze od yom shishi noshem et ha’avir
ha’or vehatzel mesachakim shuv tofeset
hashulchan aroch tmunot yaldut al hakir
shayarot levanot chozrot mibeit kneset
vehareach haze shesoret li et halev
mitganev mitganev vepoteach dlatot
el osher katan el oto shir yashan
she’over etzleinu bemeshech dorot

Matanot ktanot
mishehu shalach li matanot ktanot
resisim shel kavana igulim shel emuna
matanot ktanot mishehu shalach li
matanot ktanot
kmo hakoach lekabel et ma she’ein et ma sheyesh
ma od efshar kvar levakesh

Ze od yom shishi mirpeset ve’iton
hashemesh kmo hade’agot le’at nimcheket
manginot pshutot zochalot mehachalon
veshum se’ara kvar lo tastir po et hasheket

זה עוד יום שישי נושם את האוויר
האור והצל משחקים שוב תופסת
השולחן ערוך תמונות ילדות על הקיר
שיירות לבנות חוזרות מבית כנסת
והריח הזה ששורט לי את הלב
מתגנב מתגנב ופותח דלתות
אל אושר קטן אל אותו שיר ישן
שעובר אצלנו במשך דורות

מתנות קטנות
מישהו שלח לי מתנות קטנות
רסיסים של כוונה עיגולים של אמונה
מתנות קטנות מישהו שלח לי
מתנות קטנות
כמו הכוח לקבל את מה שאין את מה שיש
מה עוד אפשר כבר לבקש

זה עוד יום שישי מרפסת ועיתון
השמש כמו הדאגות לאט נמחקת
מנגינות פשוטות זוחלות מהחלון
ושום סערה כבר לא תסתיר פה את השקט

מתנות קטנות…

OK, back to the mundane business of this patient-empowering blog: I want to share a thought with you.

Be careful about the Patient Privacy initiatives you support. Privacy is a necessity. But extreme privacy can present danger to your health.

The last line of the California Medical Association Challenges drug-tracking system in court article explains the serious risk mentioned above, and the risks of rash decisions.

Empower Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge, 
using information that promotes the goal. 


Click on the  image above and buy the  E-book or print edition today.

See you later this week. I'm going to reflect a bit more on the wholesome happiness I feel, first.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Fill your life with facts you need to know.