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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!!

July 4, 2022

Every year it seems that the sun is getting more & more unbearable due to intense heat and humidity.  Maybe it's just me getting older?  Either way, I've always been a huge water-drinking fan, probably consuming more than I even should, but it's necessary, especially with my heart issues.


Many individuals think that staying hydrated during the hottest time of the year can be any liquid...colas, beer, cold coffee, etc.  Nope, those will not quench your thirst or keep you hydrated, only water, and I'm finding also Gatorade 0, does the job for me.  We need to replenish our electrolytes that are taken from our bodies after long durations in the sun.  I read where one man working heavy highway construction drank 12 Red Bulls back-to-back due to thirst...he soon went into cardiac arrest & they almost lost him.  No energy drinks EVER when trying to hydrate ones self!


I used to be the girl who wanted to have the darkest tan of all, sometimes laying out in the sun from morning until the sun went down.  Oh, I achieved that title of "the girl with the darker tan" alright.  Along with that, and later in years, my skin took a huge hit in the world of wrinkles, even though I always drank water & used good lotions both on my face and body.  Today, that title is taking a toll on my body that otherwise wouldn't be happening.  Know when to say no!


According to some statistical approaches regarding heat exhaustion, more than 1,300 deaths per year were reported in the United States.  Sadly, those who died from heat strokes didn't fair any better.  These numbers may sound small in the big scheme of things until it happens to you, or one of your loved ones.


Many occupations call for employees to have to work out in the extreme heat, i.e. heavy highway workers, roofers, blacktop workers, construction workers, landscaping employees, lifeguards & many more.  For some people being out in the extreme sun for long periods at a time becomes more of a choice, and who are willing to take the risk.  Those would be beachgoers, boaters, poolside lovers, and those like my former self, tanning freaks.


Running enthusiasts need to heed this advice as well if choosing to run in the heat.  I saw someone just the other day running when the heat index was 110 degrees...really?  It's good to stay in shape, but not if it kills you doing so.  Go to a local gym or an inside running track.  You'll thank me later.


So, do yourself a favor by drinking lots of H2O, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.  There are enough illnesses in the world without needlessly creating one!


Happy 4th of July to All...stick around for next year's!


**JUST ADD WATER**

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

#InnerStrengths

Direct-To-Consumer Advertising Bad For Patients!

June 10, 2022

The public gets bombarded on a daily basis thru mailings, magazine ads, television ads, and billboards about medical proposals of drugs, vaccinations, & more.  These type of advertisements are called direct-to-consumer advertisements (DTC), which ranges anywhere from "take this pill and you'll be happy all the time" to "we'll pay you up to a certain amount of money to be vaccinated for..."  NEVER fall for any of these advertisements!  Only two countries in the world, the U.S. and New Zealand, can legally conduct medical direct-to-consumerism.  Why is that?  Because it's dangerous! 


Always contact your physician(s) regarding any new medications or vaccines you're thinking of taking.  These supposed health agencies do not have your medical records, and do not know what your individual medical needs are.  Basically, they don't care, as they are well-connected to pharmaceutically-driven drug companies who do not always have your best interests at heart.  Direct-to-consumer advertising is about one thing, and one thing only....financial gain & greed for the health organization(s) promoting these pills, vaccines, as well as Big Pharma.


I just received an ambiguous letter from Acurian Health offering what I view as a false sense of security, and happier days ahead.  Trigger words are "you may qualify, no-cost, no health insurance or doctor referral is needed, enrollment is limited, may receive payment which varies by study, call this number to see if you qualify today!"


In the small print at bottom of my letter is states, "You received this mailing because you are registered at Acurian.com, you voluntarily provided information to other data sources authorized to share this information, or your information was obtained through public sources.  This is what I like to refer to as 'covering one's ass.'  Once again, words such as "you are registered, you  voluntarily provided information, and authorized to share this information."  Of course this letter wouldn't be complete without the signature of an M.D.  Well gee, if a doctor says it's okay then go ahead and sign me up!  Funny what you can find on these individuals when you research & check with state and national physician health certification & complaint boards.


Do NOT be fooled by what appears to be an authentic letter.  Mine didn't even have an address for Acurion Health, nor did the letter contain an exact date, only the month & year.  All of the above triggers should send up RED FLAGS immediately!  Do yourself, or your loved ones, a favor and research everything about the company, the M.D., type of research, and before doing anything, contact your own personal physician(s) first!  


We no longer live in a world where everything a medical professional tells us is the truth, or to be trusted.  You must be your own best advocate, as well as your loved ones...it could be the difference between life & death, and don't think for one minute that these health companies selling snake oil haven't covered their own asses with the words I've provided above, and they sure don't have your best interests at hand.  


COVID has put unnecessary fear into the hearts of Americans, and many companies are now piggy-backing off of those fears.  DON'T fall for it!  COVID was implemented to control Americans under false pretenses under the guise of politics & greed.  I am a heart patient and it scares me more to go to an emergency room than it does to stay home & take my nitroglycerin when I have chest pain. There's big bucks for hospitals both in "positive" COVID testing, as well as COVID deaths.  I am in no way telling anyone else not to seek medical attention by calling 911, or going straight to an emergency room, but I am saying know how and when to protect yourself from the evil that lurks in the name of medicine.  


As a national patient advocate, I would be remiss in my duty if I were not to share some of what I've experienced myself, and what I know to be true, both as an advocate and having worked in law enforcement.  You must decide what is in your best interest and get a second opinion.  I know that I will die someday.  I'm not afraid of dying, I'm just afraid of dying at the hands of a politician or the greed of Big Pharma & others!


*Remember... the medical profession should be a partner in your healthcare, not a dictator*

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

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Depressed or Just Plain Tired?

April 29, 2022

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, especially in the world we live in today!  But where do we draw the line between being depressed or being just plain tired?  


This question has been gnawing at me for months now.  Although I'm going through one of the roughest, if not the roughest, patches in my life, I have not given up hope or my faith that God has a plan for me, in His own timing.  Yet, I still can't shake this 24/7 feeling of "ok, I'm awake, but now what do I do?"  So, after reading my devotionals, which I am devoted to reading daily, I stumble through my apartment going from my bed, to my computer, to my kitchen, to my closet, and then repeat over & over.  Rinse & repeat.  


I count my blessings of which there are many, but that doesn't rid my life of those continuing issues that seem unsurmountable, gaining speed with each & ever day.  Seeing the sun out does lift my spirits, as I'm a sun freak, loving the way if feels on my face.  I feel alive!  Walking is also a deterrent to feeling as if my life were on a tumble cycle in the dryer, not to mention it's a necessity for my heart issues.  But, even on those days when the sun is in full bloom, my heart is not.  I'm so tired from the irregular heart beats that seem to never let up that I'm doing good just to get from my bed to my couch.  Sadly, even the beckoning of the sun won't get me off my couch.


Living with heart disease on a daily basis, and having not worked for over two years, taking a toll on my financial status, leaves me tired and frustrated.  I don't watch the news at all.  In fact, I had my television service turned off to save money.  But even with that, there are emails filled with horrific world & national events strong enough to bring a grown elephant down to its knees.  I accept the fact that I cannot save the world, but it doesn't stop me from caring about it.  I was proudly born an advocate and make no apologies.  I just wish I wasn't so damn good at it!  


Pack on to that baggage, personal problems, and you have tired.  I believe that God has me in his arms, has a plan for me, and has not forsaken me.  This tells me I'm not depressed, but I am one really tired lady.  I'm going for a walk in the partial sunlight once I'm finished writing this blog, and will stay outside in the fresh air & sunshine until the dark comes.  It's at this time of day, the tired barrels through my body, mind & emotions like a train at full speed and the couch and I become one once again.


I saw this quote the other day and it spoke right to the heart of me:


You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.


One more quote:

**There are two types of tired:  One that requires rest, and one that requires peace**


I wish you both...

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

#InnerStrengths

Medical "Gaslighting"of Women

April 6, 2022

Physicians who dismiss a female patient's symptoms, especially that of a woman presenting with symptoms of  heart disease and/or heart attack, it's called "gaslighting."  I should know.  As a woman living with heart disease, I've lived it firsthand for many years, and the frustration is mind boggling.


Today, I fired my 6th cardiologist.  No, I'm not a crazy woman who gets a thrill out of firing cardiologists, just those who refuse to listen to me with something other than their stethoscope, and those who dismiss my symptoms.  It's been years since I've felt the need to fire someone, but this guy had it coming!  I had sought out a new electrophysiologist regarding my tachycardia (SVT) symptoms.  He was nice enough, yet somewhat condescending, but I thought why not give him a chance.  He ordered a heart monitor for me to wear thirty days to see how many SVT events I was having and how long each event lasted.  After the 4th day, I noticed itching at the three electrode & patch sites, as well as a rash and blistering.  It was as if the electrodes were burning my skin.  I was determined to be a trooper however, wearing the monitor 24/7 other than when showering, but by the 8th night when I couldn't sleep at all due to the burning sensation, blistering and itching, I decided I would contact this cardiologist via phone to relay how I was responding to the heart monitor...not well.  This was on a Friday morning.  Although I followed that phone call up with a MyChart message, I never heard back until the following Tuesday when his nurse called to see if I could stick it out, or ask the monitor company for non-allergenic patches.  My reply was no and no.  I didn't hear anything back until the following morning on MyChart.  The cardiologist wanted me to try an Apple Watch.  My response was, "uh, with the economy the way it was I couldn't afford an Apple Watch."  I mean, really?  Now I'm turning to Apple in order to determine my heart issues and treatment?  So, I added to my response, for them to remove my next appointment from their schedule, that I wouldn't be returning.


This is just one of of the many disappointing visits I have had with previous cardiologists.  It's just that this  was the most recent one.  The one visit prior to this cardiologist was at the number two Children's Hospital, where my appointment was with the Head of Adult Congenital Heart Disease.  I remember thinking, wow, I actually have nailed an appointment with the head of the department!  My euphoria did not last long as our visit was so bizarre that I though I was going to be part of a reality show.  He kept shushing me when I attempted to speak, and said if I kept interrupting him it would trigger his ADHD and he would have to begin our visit again. WHAT?!  This guy was the epitome of gaslighting and trust me when I say I was fuming mad.  


I ended up writing a letter to him, also copying Children's Hospital, but all the while never expecting a reply.  A month later I received a reply from the hospital in the mail stating that the Head of Adult Congenital Heart Disease who I had visited with was no longer at their hospital.  They also encouraged me to call a phone number at the hospital to check to see if my patient file was one of the many that were missing.  It was after calling the phone number given that I got the full story.  Dr. so-and-so had fled the country, and they had lost track of him somewhere after his arrival in France.  I mean, you can't make this stuff up!   


I am presently working on the Second Edition of my first book, Can You Hear Me Now: or do I need to yell into your stethoscope? and you can bet that these two cardiologists will definitely have their own chapters.  No patient should have to fight as hard as I have had to in order to be heard and taken seriously.  But, I'm not the only woman.  There are so many other women out there, such as myself, that have had to learn to fight just to be heard...actually fight to live is more like it.


LADIES!  If you feel that you are not being heard by your physician or  cardiologist SPEAK UP!!!  This is not about your newspaper arriving late, your hairdresser not doing your hair right, or your friend showing up to lunch late.  This is about your health...YOUR LIFE!  Don't dismiss it just because they've dismissed you.  And, if you can't find your voice, then locate a patient advocate near you to help you have your voice heard.  Don't ever back down!  You can contact me through this website as well, and I would love to help you have a voice in your own medical care, especially where the heart is concerned, so reach out.


**When the fight begins within herself, a woman is worth her weight in gold**

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

#InnerStrengths

Aging Gracefully

March 26, 2022

Have you been to a beach lately?  If so, then I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know.  Older women feel it necessary to cover themselves up, while men parade up and down the beach proudly, beer belly, bald head and all.  Why is that?  Well, I'm going to tell you why....


Women's magazines and television commercials are driving aging women mad with all of these youth enticing creams & serums by using photos of women who actually are our youth of today.  Even if an older woman is used, that's where the filtering camera lens comes in handy to create the illusion that we too can look like her, and that there is something wrong with us if we don't.  


We go from a stage of not being carded, to being carded when purchasing alcohol.  We go from hearing "thank you," to "thank you ma'am."  OUCH!  Recently I read an article where a 66-year old woman was described as "elderly."  Double OUCH!!  


I am 68 and in commercials, and there is a very small window of opportunity these days for women who don't look their age for the most part, but are their age, creating a dark lonely alley when it comes to securing work in this field.  Even if I wanted to work in a different field I would not be a candidate, but seen as a woman worthy of retirement.


I personally work very hard at aging gracefully.  I'm not 21 any longer and don't pretend to be.  Hell, I'm not even 50 any longer, and that trendy new saying that 50 is the new 30, 60 is the new 40, and so on is laughable at best!  I'm in no way saying that women cannot be fashionable and carry themselves with grace & confidence no matter what the age, it's just that society keeps pressuring us to be an age we no longer are.


My oldest granddaughter and my niece call me their 'fashionista" and gotta tell you I love it!  I dress age appropriate, yet stay in style.  My daughters swear that if I live to be 90 that I'll still be wearing my stylish bib overalls with holes, a white tank top, black flip flops, and a ball cap, and they're right, I will be...proudly!  


I'm proud of my wrinkles and laugh lines.  They tell a story of both my life and just how much I laughed along the way!  Life is short, and to get caught up in the misnomer of what other people think I should look like is lost on me.  I am perfect in God's eyes, which is the only thing that really matters.  After all, He created me in His image so how could I ever top that.


Ladies...STOP beating yourselves up for having lived a good life, and if that life is filled with lines & wrinkles of a life well-lived, then so be it.  Who knows, maybe on my next beach visit I'll be the one parading proudly down the beach with my cellulite, wrinkled knees, elbows, arms, neck & face, letting everyone know that I've got a lot more of life to live and will be living it on my terms, not society's!


**Repeat after me:  We are going to be really cool old ladies!!!!!! 


 


       

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

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What Now?

March 6, 2022

Heart Disease Awareness Month is February, and I always cringe as I face the last day of it.  All awareness of the number one killer of both men & women, over all leading causes of death, becomes a moot point.  It's as if no one is affected by, or dies of, any heart related issues the other eleven months out of the year.


No one wants to conduct an interview with you past February 28th, will accept a magazine article regarding heart disease, or invite you into their world to speak about the number one killer of men & women.  Breast cancer awareness is year round, so why isn't heart disease?  My mind spins when I think about why we, patient advocates & those living with heart disease, can only get one month out of the year to plead our cause.  It's commensurate with placing all of your full attention on your child in February, and then say on February 28th "Hey kid, gotta go.  See you again next February" leaving your child to fend for themselves.  Some kids will make it those eleven months, and sadly some won't!


In the last two years, most of those individuals who died of heart disease, heart attacks, and cardiac arrest have been listed as dying of COVID.  After all, dying of heart issues won't bring any money into the hands of Big Pharma, hospitals, physicians, & politicians, so COVID it is.  Many families will never know that their loved one actually died from cardiovascular disease & not COVID.  Shame on those who participate in this sick world of lies & deceit!


Many of our young talented athletes are dropping like flies on and off the field or court, yet there doesn't seem to be the urgency surrounding these sudden deaths like there has been with COVID.  Wake up people and smell the cardiovascular deaths!  They're coming to a neighborhood near you, maybe even your home, and won't discriminate regardless of gender or age.


As a women who has lived with heart disease most of her life, and spent over a decade attempting to bring the much-needed awareness to this NUMBER ONE KILLER, I remain at a loss as to how awareness has not, and is not, being taken seriously.  One of the issues that I personally find at fault, is the politics that have taken over many of our large agencies dealing with heart disease awareness.  It's like, "hey look, I want a piece of that action.  Receiving government money, along with a huge paycheck and all the perks."  Mainly women are left behind in this pitiful maze of pretending to care.  One day, I have to believe that the smoke will clear, these posers will be found out, and we the heart patients, can at last get the help we both need & deserve!  And, if I've hurt anyone's feelings with my comments, I really don't care.  I care about those who are needlessly dying each and every day from lack of awareness & proper care as heart patients!


My contact information page is included on this website, and I would love to hear any feedback from anyone, that might lead Heart Disease Awareness into the next generation with gusto!  Won't you please join me in helping to save the lives of those millions of people dealing with cardiovascular disease?  


I'll end with the Starfish Story:

A young boy was walking the beach, every once in a while stooping to pick up something and throw it into the ocean.  An elderly gentleman who was walking behind him was curious, so he sped up his walk, catching up with the young boy.  The elderly gentleman asked the boy what he was throwing into the ocean and why?  The young boy replied that he was picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean so they could live.  The man laughed, then told the boy he couldn't save them all.  With that, the little boy reached down, picked up a starfish & throwing it into the ocean, saying "I just saved that one!" 


**No beauty shines brighter than a Healthy Heart❤️  (Parade)

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

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stand up for others....

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February 4, 2022 Wear Red Day

February 8, 2022

I had every intention of writing my Heart Disease Awareness Wear Red Day on February 4th, however, death got in the way...the death of my friend of 56 years to be exact.  I found out that morning that she had passed away from sudden cardiac arrest at home.  Not having any history of heart issues, her death came in the most unexpected way on the day I, and many others, were to wear red bringing awareness to heart disease, especially in women.  This was not how I wanted to bring awareness to the issue of heart disease, yet there is was, staring me in the face like the monster it was.


I was completely & utterly devastated & heartbroken, not to mention in shock.  I was not yet over another friend's sudden death to cardiac arrest which occurred on December 16, 2021 just months prior.  This friend also had no previous history of heart disease and was in excellent health.  He was only 61 years old.  Through my national patient advocacy and speaking engagements I had saved many stranger's lives, yet here were two of my very dearest friends who died of cardiac arrest and where was I?  Why was I not able to stop cardiac arrest from taking their lives, and at such early ages?


I knew the answer, but my mind was not letting me process the facts due to all the emotions in my heart.  Then I began wondering why them?  I mean, I'm the one who has been struggling for 20+ years with heart disease...why not me?  I am a firm believer that God takes us in His own time, and is always on time.  It just wasn't my time to let them go.  I've been struggling with so many emotions, wondering where to place them, and then it struck me that this was the month where I help others in recognizing the symptoms of heart disease & possible heart attacks.  The problem with cardiac arrest, is that more times than not there is no time to prepare.  It's like the darkness overtakes individuals without warning, and without any time to say their goodbyes, or for us to say ours.


I realize that I am at high risk for cardiac arrest, so naturally I thought I would go before anyone, family or friend, yet here I still am.  Maybe God is keeping me here until my work as a heart disease patient advocate, at least as far as He's concerned, is completed.  It just seems so unnatural for my two friends to go before me under the circumstances.  It's like the old adage that there is an order in which we move on to our final resting place, which is much like that of a parent who plans on always going before their child.  I passed on a part of my congenital heart issues to my oldest daughter and my youngest granddaughter, and have always prayed that God take me first.  Now I'm praying even harder that my prayers are answered!  


Please educate yourself on heart disease, it's symptoms, and the differences in those symptoms between men & women...it could save your life or the life of a loved one!  Learn CPR and where defibrillators are located.  Both are very easy to perform, but it doesn't hurt to continue staying updated on the latest information.  It used to be when performing CPR, both breaths & chest compressions were necessary.  Now it's just chest compressions to the beat of, ironically, Staying Alive by the BeeGees.  I'm not making this up!  Also, never conduct CPR on someone that is breathing.  Once a defibrillator case is opened, a voice will begin guiding you on how to utilize the equipment, which is imperative when someone has suffered cardiac arrest and not a heart attack.  It is still important to continue  to perform CPR until the defibrillator is inn place & ready to use.


Heart Disease is the Number One Killer of both Men & Women...it's just killing women at a faster rate due to lack of education, both on the part of women and some physicians.  I find it ironic that women never fail to get their mammograms & pap smears, but never once ask during their annual checkup for their physician to order an EKG, echocardiogram, and blood test in order to be proactive when it comes to heart disease, rather than reactive.  And if your physician won't order theses tests, then find another physician who will...it could save your life!


I apologize for any typos or grammatical errors in this blog, however, it's difficult to type when tears are blinding you.  In time I will heal, and focus on the good memories, but for now, I'm still in pain & hurting.


I will never forget you Joni, and Ray, or our beautiful smiles and the wonderful laughter you brought, not only to me, but to so many others throughout your lives.  I miss you both, love you both, and one day we will see each other again in a place where heart disease can't touch us...

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

#InnerStrengths

The Waiting Room

January 28, 2022

We're all used to sitting in a physician's waiting room, but no one should ever get used to waiting for months, if not years, for answers to their medical issues.  Yet, I find myself exactly in that position, and I'm a national patient advocate!


I realize that my heart issues are not your typical every-day heart issues, but when you find yourself spinning your wheels and wearing a thin path on a physician's lobby rug it's time to make a change.  It's not always easy leaving a physician, in my case a cardiologist, especially if you like them.  But liking them isn't enough.  You have to make sure that you're seeing an improvement, a change for the better, in your quality of life.  Otherwise, your visits will be a waste of time.


In my case, I feel that my cardiologist has either become complacent, or that she has gone as far as she can go dealing with my unusual & complex heart issues.  I have recently made an appointment with another cardiologist from another group.  Having a new set of eyes on my heart problems is a good thing!  Change is what makes the world go round and forces us to get out of our comfort zones.


Remember, you only have one life, so make the most of it and do whatever it takes to get the answers that you both want & need regarding your health issues!


**The BEST investment you'll ever make is in your Health**

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others....

#InnerStrengths

Heart Disease Awareness Month February 2022

January 28, 2022

February 1, 2022 will mark the first day of Heart Disease Awareness Month.  Heart disease is the number one killer of both men & women, it's just that women are dying at a faster rate due to lack of recognizing  the differences in those symptoms exhibited by men & women, both by physicians and by patients.


As a writer, and national patient advocate, I am always amazed when I reach out to media to promote awareness for heart disease.  If I want to do an interview, write a magazine article, or conduct a speaking event, I'm always told that if it's not in February, they're not interested.  Hmmmm...men & women are dying the other eleven months out of the year, so why not keep the awareness going all year long?  Breast Cancer does it, so why not heart disease?  


Many believe that heart patients are heart patients because they didn't take care of themselves properly, so it's their own fault they have heart disease.  That couldn't be farther from the truth!  I'm a prime example, as I am 5'2", weigh 110, exercise daily, eat healthy foods, a non-smoker, non-diabetic, otherwise healthy woman with the exception of a wide array of heart issues.  They began at birth, and I still live with them today.  I showed symptoms throughout my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, however due to being a girl/woman, my heart was never a consideration as far as physicians were concerned.  My symptoms had to be related to either stress, hormones, or the fact I was supposedly one of those hysterical women, who they now call "Karens."


After fighting year after year to be heard, I finally was diagnosed properly with a host of heart issues that made no sense, yet there they were upfront & center!  I fired four cardiologists before finding one who would finally listen to me with something other than just their stethoscope, which led me to write a book entitled Can You Hear Me Now: or do I need to yell into your stethoscope?  I sold out of those and am presently working on the 2nd Edition of Can You Hear Me Now.  A lot has changed, both good & bad, since my book was first published in 2011.  It's time.


Through these books, and my work as a national patient advocate for women living with, or at risk of, heart disease, it is my hope to help better educate women and to teach them to learn how to better advocate for themselves.  Who better to advocate for you than you!  You need to know your body, and if you don't then you need to get familiar with it.  Listening to our bodies is just as important as a physician listening to our heart with their stethoscope.


If you are a woman living with heart disease, find an organization that fits your needs for support.  I would suggest WomenHeart, the only national patient advocacy group just for women & heart disease.  They are located in D.C. but you can become a WomenHeart Champion by checking out their website at www.womenheart.org.  Feel free to go to my contact page on this website as well.  I don't give medical advice, but I can point you in the right direction for your specific needs.


The one organ you can't live without is your heart, so begin today to pay special attention to it, and treat it as if it were a new born baby!


**Without our health, we have nothing**



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Strong people stand up for themselves, 

but stronger people

stand up for others....

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There's WHAT In My Hair??

October 6, 2021

Just when I thought I had experienced everything horrifying in regard to my heart issues and the medical profession, thinking it was safe to go back into the water...it was NOT safe to go back into the water!


After wearing a heart monitor for two weeks, my cardiologist informed me that I now had Afib.  I decided to go with the Afib ablation rather than meds.  My history of being able to tolerate new meds was not a good one.  So the date was set, then got moved up due to a cancellation, which for me was a good thing!  I wanted as much of my quality of life back as soon as possible.


I had a friend drive me, and stay with me, the day of my ablation.  They decided that I would be admitted due to my life long bleeding issues and my low blood pressure.  I waited three hours before being taken back to the surgery room.  It wasn't like I was going anywhere soon with an IV in my arm and my body adorned with a stunning hospital gown so I was fine with that.


I saw nothing unusual regarding any issues before, during, or immediately after my procedure, with the exception of the surgeon coming into my room to tell me he could not complete the ablation as the events were too short in length of time to perform the ablation.  Although disappointed, he was right in not continuing.  I still had to be admitted as the catheters in the groin had been place with the wires going up to my heart.


I had been given Fentanyl to be put into a twilight stage during the procedure, which I had never had before.  Let's just say I'm going back to morphine for my next procedure!  It took forever for the fentanyl to leave my system.  Although a little unsteady on my feet, the nurse walked me to the restroom across the hall, where she stood outside just in case I hit the floor.  What happened next was something only seen in horror films.  


I used the restroom, checking for any blood which there was none, flushed and went to the sink to wash my hands.  It was then that I notice something dark in my hair about an inch or so above my forehead.  I thought it might be fuzz of some sort or even a small piece of material, so I tried fluffing it out, but the object didn't even move.  I then took that section of my hair between my pointer finger and thumb on my right hand and attempted to pull it out.  I couldn't believe what happened next.  This object turned out to be a blood clot, which burst upon my putting pressure on both sides.  I had blood running through my hair, down my face, on my right hand even under my nails, and down my right forearm.  The stringy blood clot was still evident on the fingers of my right hand - YUK!!!  


I opened the door to show the nurse, who shouted "what happened?"  I explained, and as she went for wash clothes to get me cleaned up, I used the sink and paper towels, leaving a pinkish hew to my hair.  I couldn't stand any longer due to leg weakness, so she walked me back to my recovery room where my friend looked at me and said, "why is there pink in your hair."  So, once again, I retold the restroom story.  To say I was in shock would put it mildly, because the catheter used in the surgery room went into my right groin area, no where near my head, and according to the surgeon I had no issues with blood clotting.


This left me feeling sick to my stomach.  First, the blood clot could not have been mine, as I had a full surgical cap on my head from beginning to end of procedure.  Second, this told me that the blood clot & blood were not mine - UGH!!!!!  Both the hospital and surgeon refused to order an HIV & Hepatitis test to rule them out.  My primary care giver ordered the tests for me, which were thank God negative!


So what does one do when something such as this occurs?  It's not a case for a lawsuit, which I did not want anyway, but it did warrant the hospital taking this horrendous safety issue seriously & meet with me to hear my concerns.  This did not happen after speaking with four individuals in "patient advocacy" for the hospital.  Let's just say they weren't advocating for me, but instead protecting the hospital.  The letter I received in the mail basically looked like it had been written by a twelve-year old, if that, and all of the facts stated in this letter were incorrect.  They never even pulled my records from that day.  I did however retrieve my records, and found that the nurse standing outside the restroom, who witnessed the bloody mess, never even noted it in her nurse's notes.  WOW!  Pretty sure this was an important fact for both my cardiologist and the hospital itself to be made aware of.


I am now in the process of writing complaint reports for the American Hospital Association as well as the State Attorney General's Office.  


Lesson:  Never go to the hospital alone for anything, and have whoever is with you go everywhere with you, even the restroom, with the exception of the surgery room, radiology, or any other testing rooms where they might be harmed.  Everyone who I've told this story to asks, "why didn't you take a picture?"  Uh, wasn't really in the mindset to being thinking along those lines after what I had just gone through.  Document, document, document, everything and get your records which holds all the notes, dates/times, as well as all the names of those who have cared, or maybe not, for you.  This happened to me, and I'm a National Patient Advocate, so yes, it can happen to you too!  


#ProactiveVersusReactive

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Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve on COVID has Now Turned into Almost Two Years!

August 10, 2021

Americans were told back in 2020 that there would be a "flattening of the curve" in regard to the COVID-19 virus.  It appears that someone along the way lost the plan for  flattening the curve.  The number of cases and deaths due to COVID since that time have been skewed, pandered with, and changed at the hands of those it benefits .  Nothing or no one could be believed.  So-called infectious disease experts, scientists, CDC, WHO have contradicted one another consistently, leaving us, the public to fend for ourselves.


It is of my opinion that the reason for all of this influx of information, with no end in sight, is due to politics & money.  Just think of the money that Big Pharma is raking in, along with mask/hand sanitizer/face shield/glove companies, but none more than our DC lobbyists, and politicians, all while  Americans have been left homeless, no way to feed their families, loss of employment, an increase in suicides, mental illness, clinical depression, as well as resulting in the breakup of families, friends, & neighbors beyond repair.  


Immune systems, especially our children's, are being severely compromised daily by mask wearing, and the almighty COVID vaccine, which has left the actual "Almighty" God out on a dust road somewhere, yet has the potential risks of lifetime health issues i.e. heart disease, infertility, breathing problems and more.  Everyone wants that quick fix, and it now appears that the vaccine quick fix doesn't even stop COVID...that is if we're to believe what the so-called experts are saying today.  Stick around until tomorrow and it will be a completely different story on every level.  


It's time for individuals, parents of children, medical professionals to speak up and advocate for themselves & others, because if they don't no one else will.  There will be long-term effects down the road, many of those severe, but hey, let's just wear a mask 24/7, get jabbed with a vial of God knows what, and just give in to the so-called "experts."  I say take the road less traveled and you will be surprised when, and if, this whole COVID fiasco is over, just how wise you were to do so!


So many deaths were blamed on COVID, at least according to their death certificates, and families were grieving to the point that they never fact-checked their loved one's demise, just accepted the death certificate cause of death.  Supposedly 350,000 deaths were attributed to COVID in the U.S. alone in 2020.  I don't buy it.  As a National Patient Advocate, I'm not here to please politicians, scientists, so-called experts but to help the public/patients to conduct research on this issue before making any rash decisions.  Whatever happened to Faith Over Fear?  Instead many Americans have opted for the "herd mentality" going along with others rather than thinking for themselves.  A little Common Sense goes a long way when actually utilized.


I'm not telling individuals when it comes to COVID, masks, the vaccine, to only do what I do or don't do, but to use their God-given brains rather than go down that road most taken.  Going down that road can only lead the the front door of The Great Oz, and we all know he was a fake and couldn't help Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow, or The Lion with any of their issues.  He was just an old man behind a curtain spreading false fear into the lives of the small people of Oz.  Americans have become the small people of the Land of Oz.


Not sure about you, but I'm going to click the heels of my shoes twice like Dorothy, with my eyes closed, and say "There's no place like home....there's no place like home."  And if I'm lucky when I open my eyes, I'll be back in MY America again!

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Placing A Parent In Assisted Living or Nursing Home

July 19, 2021

As we age, so do our parents.  We think that they will always be the same throughout our lives, but the reality is that they do age, struggle when dealing with everyday tasks, can no longer drive, and sadly often can no longer live by themselves.  It's like when we were kids and they couldn't always give us what we needed, we now see ourselves in a position where we can't give our parents everything that they need, without taking away some of their freedom, without having their uniqueness and pride negatively affected.


The decision to move a parent into an assisted living community or nursing home is not an easy one!  Many adult children feel as if they are abandoning the very same parents who raised them, even when it wasn't easy.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  When a parent has become a danger to themselves, whether that be falling, forgetting to take their medications, continuing to drive when it's unsafe, not eating properly, and in many cases forgetting to turn off the gas burners on the stove, forgetting to lock their doors at night, eat food that has long expired, and for those with dementia, wonder off from their homes, with no idea as to where they're going.


Every situation is different, and must be treated as such.  Some parents are more than ready to be rid of the responsibilities that go along with owning a home, and head off to a community where they will have little to no responsibility, make new friends where they were lonely at home, and see their health improve due to a proper diet, regular medications, interaction with others, activities to keep their bodies & minds healthy, and most of all be safe from all of those issues mentioned above.  Some parents, however, fight every inch of the way.  Their pride is at stake, and they don't want to give up what has long been a comfort to them...their home.  As the adult children we must understand how hard it would be for us to walk away from everything we knew to be our home and work toward making their "new" home as close to their old one as possible.  Photos of family, that recliner that's so comfortable they can actually sleep in it, their own bed if possible, and anything else that would make the transition more acceptable & comfortable.


My parents, and stepfather, have passed on, and I only had to work at getting my stepfather into a nursing home due to terminal cancer.  He after he fought me hard for six months, and only because he was angry at the cancer, getting very weak, and couldn't do anything for himself, including going to the bathroom, did he acquiesce and agreed to go into the medical unit at a local nursing home.  I had his favorite chair brought in by a cousin, placed all of his favorite painting, photos, and knickknacks around the room so he would feel some assemblance of what used to be his home.  I bought a small fridge so I could place his favorite drinks, puddings, and other favorite foods in it, allowing him to easily get to those foods he loved the best.  Eventually he was unable to do this, so he had to be wheeled down to the cafeteria, and in time, he refused to eat unless I was there to feed him all three meals, as his fatigue from the cancer no longer allowed him to feed himself.  I look back on these times, and no matter how hard it was for me, it was much harder for him, as he was such a prideful man.  I would often go to the restroom while they wheeled him back to his room and have a good cry, then dry my eyes, and go back to his room and hope to cheer him up, which was no easy task.  Patience truly is a virtue.  


Some parents can last for years in assisted living or a nursing home, because they are ambulatory, make new friends, and adjust better than some.  My stepfather, basically gave up, as he wanted to be with my mom more than he wanted to live the way he was living.  In three weeks, he got his wish.  I miss him everyday, and wouldn't trade that year and a half I had taking care of him for anything.  I was blessed not only to have two wonderful parents, but also a wonderful stepfather.


I actually sought out therapy/counseling for myself during that one and a half years, because if I wasn't healthy how could I ever take care of a terminally ill parent?  I wouldn't have been able to.  I strongly recommend this, and if a parent is also willing to seek therapy/counseling during this transition, even better.  My stepfather was not willing, but it helped me immensely!  


Placing a parent in assisted living or nursing home, especially if they are strong in their will to stay in their home, is just not easy.  If time allows, get ahead of this issue, having discussion if possible with the parent when you notice that the time is coming to make a placement.  I also strongly recommend prayer...lots of prayer!   Ask family & friends to pray for both your parent and yourself, as there is power in prayer and even moreso in prayer in numbers.


May God guide you during this very difficult time, one that we never really see coming until it's there.  We still see our parents as our parents... strong, taking care of us, and as our rock.  Then one day you suddenly find yourself as all of these things for your parent, and it's the most loving thing you can do for them...be their rock.


**To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.

 



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COVID-19 Vaccine:  Risks Outweight The Benifits?

July 16, 2021

We have become a nation of weak individuals.  Thank God we are not presently in need of sending Americans into a new war!  Where would we find anyone who isn't too afraid to fight for their country?  Americans are afraid to take off their masks due to COVID, obsessively sanitize their hands until raw, have stopped hugging their loved ones, instead doing a fist or elbow bump, and even running, not walking, to get a vaccine that hasn't been FDA approved nor has it been tested for long-term effects.  Do we really believe that these same individuals are ready to be dropped from a helicopter into an un-sanitized, disease-ridden jungle or desert, to fight as their ancestors have for our Country?


We have become a weak nation.  On the flip side, politicians, lobbyists, and Big Pharma are laughing all the way to the bank, and they're laughing at us!  Well, not all of us.  Some of us have actually taken the time to research this supposed "pandemic" that has all but eradicated the number of cases and deaths from the flu, pneumonia, strep throat, COPD, cancer, heart disease, and even car/motorcycle accidents.  Death certificates listed with COVID as the cause of death are being handed out like lollypops at the pediatrician's office.  


My favorite stories regarding COVID deaths are the ones that begin with, "I know that my best friend's aunt 's sister died of 
COVID."  Or, "I know that the cashier at my local grocery died of COVID two weeks ago."  And they know this how?  They don't.  Even the family of a loved one who's death certificate states COVID as the cause of death can never be sure of exactly what their loved one truly died of.  


If any thing kills us, it will be due to the "herd mentality" of those who are followers & not leaders.  I had no idea just how many Americans were listless followers, rather than brave leaders when faced with the opposition and their scare tactics.  I am proud to say that I am NOT a follower, but a leader.  I have never had a COVID test, will NEVER be vaccinated, and choose to live my life, having Faith over Fear!  I'm not a martyr, just someone, a National Patient Advocate, who understands what the CDC, FDA, WHO, NIH and politicians are really all about...money.   I'm not saying that there aren't "good" people working at these organizations, but you can bet that they're not in positions of power to make final decisions.  Some employees stay, some leave, and thank God some become "whistleblowers!"


Parents are racing to get their children vaccinated without ever knowing exactly what is being injected into their bodies.  There have been many cases where children, pre-teens, teens, and young adults, after receiving the COVID vaccine, are now finding themselves as heart patients due to Myocarditis, which weakens the heart, possibly leading to an abnormal heartbeat, heart failure and even death.  No one knows if down the road, this vaccine will cause infertility in those children to young adults who received the vaccine.  Parents are quick to place their sixteen year old behind the wheel of a car, with little to no experience, and never give it a thought even though teen accidents will kill more of our children than COVID ever has or will.  


There is so much ludicracy surrounding this whole COVID scare because most can't see the forest for the trees!  I for one plan on living my life on this earth as I was meant to...to touch dirty objects, not run when someone sneezes next to me, to not use hand sanitizer but to wash my hands as I've been doing since I was a child, and I am going to hug my family, my friends, and anyone who needs one without worrying about germs.  In case anyone has forgotten, germs and bacteria are what have developed healthy immune systems in all of us from birth on...masking them will only make you sick, and possibly take your life.  Read up on it.  You'll be very surprised.


**As Franklin D. Roosevelt stated at his 1933 inaugural address, there is "Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself."    





 

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Dealing With Being Sick But Not Looking Sick

July 1, 2021

If I only had a dollar for every time someone said to me, after finding out I have chronic heart & lung issues, "But you don't look sick!"  I know they mean it as a compliment, but I feel like I have to justify my illness in order to be understood.  I spent almost five years trying to convince cardiologists that the symptoms I was having were due to my heart, yet they kept wanting to put me on an antidepressant.  Why?  Because I DIDN'T look sick - Ugh!  I was 5'2", weighted 110, non-smoker, non-diabetic, exercised almost daily, ate healthy foods, and tried to keep my stress level down as much as possible.  So, in the cardiologists' medical-testbook-minds I therefore could not be a heart patient.


I have good days & I have bad days, but on those good days, I fix my hair, put on make-up & a nice outfit and get out, even if that means the doctor's office.  I get plenty of critical looks from the other heart patients in the lobby when I check in.  Why?  Because I DON'T look sick!  


We need to ALL step back and take in the full picture before judging others.  I noticed at Children's Hospital, where my lobby area is also the children's heart patient waiting area.  The children are looked at with sympathy, which they should be due to being so young with their whole lives ahead of them, but when I get called back, and I don't have a child with me, I get a whole lot of curious looks.  Sometimes I get an opportunity to speak with the parents of those children who have heart issues, and explain that I was born with congenital heart issues but wasn't actually diagnosed with them until  I was age fifty.  Thank God we now live in a day and age where the majority of babies born with heart defects are recognized upon birth and dealt with immediately, not when they are grown adults!


To that end, let's be more tolerant, understanding, and use more grace when we see a "cover" that doesn't even begin to tell the "story".  It's an old quote, but it never grows old, especially in my case.... Never Judge a Book By It's Cover!  


**BE KIND

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Political Rhetoric Has NO Place in Medical Conferences!

June 20, 2021

Political Rhetoric seems to be everywhere these days.  But, one place it shouldn't be is at medical conferences!


I recently won a scholarship to attend a large medical & research conference virtually.  The beginning Plenary was a welcome by a doctor & CEO of the organization who was holding the conference.  Stating a medical opinion can be challenged in a professional manner, but when bringing political opinions to the table, they often offend & alienate others who are in attendance and rightfully so.  


We've all seen family and friend discussions go south when politics are brought up, and that's with only a few individuals.  Imagine stating one's political beliefs in front of thousands of attendees at a conference meant for medical & research discussion.  Know your audience!


If you want to make political statements, then attend a political rally or an environment that is conducive to sharing one's political thoughts & beliefs.  Otherwise, stay home.


There's plenty of medical issues to discuss in such a short period of time at a medical conference, why open the discussion to something that has absolutely nothing to do with medicine.  In other words...STAY IN YOUR LANE!



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Fitness Watches Dependable In Detecting Heart Issues?

June 9, 2021

Its difficult to keep up with all of the latest chic technology that promises to not only encourage fitness, but to also locate irregular heart rhythms, and then notify the individual they may be experiencing irregular heart beats, which could indicate the possibility of AFib.  Most also offer the ability to conduct your own EKG, but the design is more times than not conducive to getting nothing more than an "inconclusive" read out.  This can be very frustrating to the wearer, especially a heart patient!


As a woman already living with heart disease, I specifically purchased an Apple Series 6 watch due to having unusual heart symptoms.  I also purchased the watch due to the ability of the watch to notify me should I be experiencing irregular rhythms, as well as having access to the EKG feature.  After close to three months of wearing the Apple watch, without any notifications, even though I knew my heart was not beating properly, I became skeptical. My cardiologist was skeptical from the beginning as she is not a fan of fitness watches that profess to have the ability to define medical issues for the wearers.  


My cardiologist ordered a two-week heart monitor, which I wore for the full two-weeks while wearing the Apple Watch.  At my follow-up visit she informed me that I had had 34 AFib events in that two-week span of wearing the heart monitor.  Not once did the Apple Series 6 watch notify me of these serious heart events.  Their Apple watch instructions do state that "The irregular rhythm notification feature will only occasionally check your BPM."  In my case, having experienced 34 AFib events in two weeks, yet not being notified even once that this was occurring, is unacceptable.


AFib left undetected and/or diagnosed, can lead to blood clots, which could result in a stroke, and even worse death  Either the Apple watch notification system works or it doesn't and should not be taken lightly.


I contacted Apple, speaking to a Health Support Specialist, who stated that I might want to contact their "feedback" option online to relay my concerns.  I would love to work together with Apple to resolve any issues involving the Apple Series 6 watch, both as a heart patient, and as a National Patient Advocate on Heart Disease, especially in women.  A consultant of sorts.  Who better than a heart patient to provide input on the Apple watch heart features.


I am in the process of returning my Apple Series 6 watch, as those features I was interested in proved to be disappointing at best.  I would say to anyone out there who is looking for any new technology that promises features regarding medical-related issues to step lightly, to research, and check to make sure those features offered are working properly.


We only have one heart, so let's make sure we are following our heart when searching for heart-related answers!


**Heart Disease is the No. 1 Killer of both men & women!  It's just that women are dying at a faster rate due to lack of knowledge, not knowing that women's symptoms are often different than that of a man's, and being ignored by the medical world, as women are sadly seen as panic-striken, stressed, and out of control.


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Organ Donation... DO IT!

March 20, 2021

The first time I ever heard about "organ donation," I was in my twenties, and I was also very skeptical.  What if I'm in a coma but I'm still alive & very aware of my surroundings including voices...voices that are telling my family to pull the plug and to donate my viable organs to those in need?  What if all of the doctors involved are not in agreement, but one has more pull and persuades the others to move ahead, pronouncing the time of my death in order to get my organs to someone hanging on by a thread?  It all seemed so iffy.


So I began researching more about organ donation i.e. statistics, medical research, clinical trials, and even more importantly, actual stories told by either the patient themselves, donors and donees, as well as family members, physicians, surgeons & all medical staff.  The first thing I realized is that I didn't have to die in order to be an organ donor.  This was great news, at least it was for me!  


I watched for years my dear friend & neighbor go through transplant after transplant in order to remain alive.  She had been diagnosed at age 12 with a chronic illness, that would eventually lead to numerous transplants and possibly death.  She was a fighter!  All in all, she had two kidney transplants, 1 liver transplant, and a pancreas transplant.  Some were live donors, some upon their death.  The fact that someone might have to die in order for my friend to live was not taken lightly by her as there's the matter of the guilt that goes along with this process.  Knowing that someone had to die for several of her transplants weighed heavy on my friend, and if I were to ever have to receive an organ from a donor I would feel a wave of guilt as well.  Sadly my friend died in 2008 at the young age of forty-five.  I miss her every day but find peace in the fact that she lived way longer than the doctors ever thought possible because of those who unselfishly became organ donors, or as I call them, Life Savers!


The most commonly transplanted adult organs are the kidney, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.  Kidney transplants are the most successful. The intestines are the least common.  Corneas can be transplanted, as well as bone marrow and skin tissue.  We've come a long way from when the most heard of transplant was the heart.  The reason?  The patient was fighting to stay alive and the donor must obviously be dead in order to donate.  One cannot live without this major organ.  These are the stories that caught the attention of the media world. 


So much progress has been made in organ donation, and I encourage those who are thinking about becoming an organ donor, to talk with their physician and their families, research the subject, and read stories of when dramatic triumph occurred when a patient is only minutes away from death just to be saved by some selfless organ donor who recognized the importance of doing so.


Should you decide to become an organ donor, you can do so by calling the UPMC Organ Transplant Program at (833) 244-8947 for additional information.  Donating an organ, before death or upon death will be the most rewarding, fulfilling, selfless act you will ever do!


Personally, I am an organ donor for "anything" on my body that is considered to be viable for a donation to someone in need upon my death.  It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, I would without hesitation donate an organ while alive, and not only to someone in my family, a friend, a co-worker, but also for a complete stranger.  It's called paying it forward.


#BeAnOrganDonorToday   #SaveALife   #GodBlessYou

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Aging Gracefully...

May 6, 2021

I've always said that I wanted to age gracefully.  What a bunch of crap!  I feel like every corner I turn as I age, I lose a function and/or gain an illness.  But, on the bright side, I'm still on the right side of the grass.


One night I went to bed as a 40 year old and woke up as a 67 year old.  How did that happen?  It's called the aging process.  I've adjusted my lifestyle to fit my heart disease, having given up many of those activities I once enjoyed such as golf, running, being able to hang with my friends (I cancel a lot), and yes even sex.  It takes me anywhere from one to two days to clean my apartment, when just 5 years ago I could clean it in 4 hours.  Life has changed.


I love to walk and do so every chance I get, however, I felt I needed another cardio workout so I began the old-fashioned  jazzercising, a combination of aerobic exercise, cardio, and dance fitness.  After three days I noticed that my left heel was extremely sore and thought I could just walk it off.  Wrong.  I ended up seeing an orthopedist who diagnosed me with a bruised heel/instep, and wrote a prescription for Naproxin, told me to keep it iced, and stay off of it as much as possible, which I did.  Nothing helped.  My heel/instep just got worse to the point where I couldn't sleep due to the excruciating pain.  I had to cancel my "Mother's Day" plans with my daughters in exchange for a follow-up orthopedic appointment.  I want my old life back!  But then again, don't we all when it comes to aging.


One of my favorite sayings is Whiners are Weiners, which makes me a weiner right about now.  What about all those blessings God has bestowed upon me as I age?  What about when I wake up in the morning and I can see, hear, walk, & talk?  Sadly so many others can't. Maybe there should be a class on how to age gracefully, because I could stand to take a lesson or two.  I do make sure I pray for those who are bedridden, unable to walk having to use a wheelchair, have lost their eyesight and/or hearing, and especially for those who are terminally ill, many of them in a hospice facility waiting for the Good Lord to take them.  Although I am concerned about my heart issues, I am also very blessed!


Whiners are Weiners... I don't want to be a weiner any longer.  The choice is mine.  Be graceful while aging or be a weiner.  Grace wins every time.


**Know that you are the perfect age.  Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once... (Louise Hay)



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Atrial Fibrillation: When To Be Concerned

April 24, 2021

The heart can be a very complex organ. That's because it's the most important organ in your body!  Cardiac terms are thrown around within the medial field as if they're discussing what they're having for lunch that day.  The rest of us are often left scratching our heads, wondering what some of these terms, diagnoses, and procedures mean for us, the patient.


Atrial Fibrillation is one diagnosis that is more recognizable than most due to it's awareness via commercials, magazine articles, and patient stories.  I was diagnosed early on with Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, which is one form of heart arrhythmia, and had cardiac ablation to repair it.  Atrial Fibrillation is yet another form of arrhythmia irregularity.  It's definitely easier to say!   I thought after my cardiac ablation in 2006 that my heart arrhythmia issues were over.  I was wrong.  I'm now having issues with Atrial Fibrillation which most of the time wakes me up out of a dead sleep, exhibiting excruciating chest pain along with an irregular heart rate.


I can't, and won't, give medical advice on what to do if you believe that your heart is not beating correctly.  However, I will strongly suggest that you contact your primary physician, and/or cardiologist, who will more than likely direct you to the nearest Emergency Room, which is great advice!


For me, I have been dealing with heart issues for approximately 18 years, so I utilize the nitroglycerin spray that my cardiologist prescribed for me for chest pain.  Lately, I have been having more chest pain than normal.  I'll be seeing my cardiologist before our next scheduled visit.  


The best way to stay alive, is to call, or have someone who is with you call, 911 at the first sign of any irregularity in your heart.  As I stated earlier the heart is the most important organ in the human body and should never be taken for granted.  Being proactive is much better than being reactive, as there might not be time to react.


Love Your Heart & It Will Love You Back!

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Know When To Simplify Your Life

April 10, 2021

Knowing when to simplify your life, especially in your latter years, is actually an art...the art of feeling it in every part of your body, heart & mind.  Those things you wanted earlier in life, have either happened, or have now become a distant memory.  Some of those things you yearned for when younger, and were disappointed to have never had happen, were actually often blessings when we look back.


There's a reason why we have children at an earlier age.  To begin a family in our 50's and 60's would be exhausting.  I just spent a wonderful day with my two teen granddaughters, and although we had such a great time, I was completely exhausted by the time I got back home.  And that was just one day!   


I have downsized to a place in my life that I never thought I could, and I'm not done yet.  I live in an apartment with three large rooms, in a historical building built in 1880 with no room to spare for storage.  I have approximately ten boxes stored in my oldest daughter's garage, which contain photographs & memorabilia.  That's it.  Not even leftover furniture, household items, knickknacks, kitchen appliances, or my two daughters' keepsakes from birth on.  I gave each of them everything I had saved individually for them and they loved it!  I did keep special handwritten letters, a few pictures they had drawn for me when younger, as well as those from my grandchildren, but was able to find a place in my apartment for those.


At Christmas, I simply place my Charlie Brown tree on my end table, and then plug in the tiny white lights that came with it.  I then place one ornament on a small branch, which simply states in black on the round pearl-colored ball, topped off with a red ribbon.  I then stand back and say to no one in particular, tada, my Christmas decorating is complete.  Now that's simplifying one's life!


As I stated earlier, I am not done simplifying yet.  My final goal of downsizing will be when I move to Costa Rica, to a furnished small apartment on or near the water, and purchase a golf cart to get around in.  I will have left behind all furniture, lamps, kitchen appliances, etc., and will be selling my car.  I will take only those clothes I will need for year round summer weather, a bathing suit, and maybe a sweater or two.  Of course family/friend framed photos to strategically place in my new home are a must!  I'm often asked how I can move that far away from my family.  Oh let me count the ways - HA!  


My whole adult life I have always been the "go to" person, so I believe that I have now earned the right "to go!"  And if that's a flight away, then that's just the way it goes.  It will be my time to finally live where I have always wanted to live...on a beach, where I can walk it everyday, listen to the tide roll in and out, and sit under a canopy and write until my heart's content, or one of my books is complete, whichever comes first.



"Simplify your life: less stuff, more life"   

(simplelionheartlife)

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Dealing With  Incontinence

April 6, 2021

Incontinence was something that our great grandparents, grandparents, and parents have had to deal with, not us.  Also not true.  The lack of voluntary control over one's urination and defecation is not a pleasant experience, yet one that we all will experience if we live long enough.  


After having children, I noticed that if I jumped down from a porch or steps, i would urinate a little, but then as I aged, I noticed that a small sneeze could wet my underwear.  I was both shocked & in some cases embarrassed.  I know some women have surgery to correct this problem, but mine didn't happen often enough for me to go to that length.


I'm now almost seventy and in the last year, I noticed that out of no where, I would just begin to urinate, and even more recently defecate, although be it slightly.  Time to purchase some Depends.  I found myself standing in the aisle of the feminine products filled with shame, just like a young boy buying his first pack of condoms filled with condemnation.  Sizing became an issue all of it's own.  I will say that at least now these adult diapers come in many different fits, pretty colors, and designs.  I opted for the gray and pink ones.  It takes a while to get used to them, but after wearing a few times, it wasn't that bad.  I mainly wear them if I'm walking, doing a lot of steps, and definitely horseback riding!


In the big scheme of things going on in this world, the least of those worries is having to wear Depends when necessary.  One day they will just become a part of my adult daily life, and when that day comes, I will proudly wear my adult diaper like a big girl.

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Understanding Dementia

March 29, 2021

Understanding the symptoms, loss, frustration & progression of Dementia is difficult for even the medical professionals, let alone for family members, friends, and the general public.  We all become forgetful as we age, but there are significant signs that you are, or your loved one is, showing signs of dementia.


My mother began with the usual confusion of someone in their 70's, however, her symptoms progressed to her attempting to spread peanut butter on the kitchen towel for her lunch sandwich.  My stepfather found her in the middle of the night sitting at the pool's edge, and she was deathly afraid of water to the point she would only put 1-2 inches of water in the bathtub from fear of drowning, so she was definitely disoriented in order to end up where she did.  She drove not far to a local grocery store in their area, but ended up much farther away, not knowing her name and scared to death.  A nice gentleman found her number on the cell phone she was carrying and called my stepfather.  She eventually became combative with my stepfather, cursing (something she had never done), hitting him, and cried a lot. One day she remembered him & us and then the next day she didn't.


Eventually my stepfather had to place her in a nursing home, as his own health was suffering from trying to take care of her.  He ended up having a heart attack not long after she passed away from all the stress he was under.  Caregivers need to understand more than anyone what it takes to care for a dementia and/or alzheimer's patient.  It's difficult, devastating, and life-changing, and the caregiver must learn to also care for themselves, and to know when to know it's time for their loved one to be in a facility that is much better suited for caring for these type of patients.


Watching the decline of President Biden has been extremely painful to watch, as it's playing out for all the world to see.  I'm not a fan of Biden's, but I struggle to understand how his own family can allow this to continue.  He needs help, not to be shot up with steroids and Ritalin to keep him moving, because that's basically all he's doing at this point, being pointed in the right direction, using notes & tele-prompters that still don't help, and actually stating "where was I?" while scratching at his forehead.  There have been some occasions where he can't even find his way off of the stage he's on.  In my opinion, this is elder abuse, and it needs to stop!  Yes, I've heard all the jokes regarding his mental health decline, and maybe have even been guilty of laughing myself.  But, however, I am wrong in doing so, no matter how I feel about him.  I pray that God will intervene, because his family & administration sure aren't going to!


Dementia & Alzheimer's are horrible & excruciating diseases and we must do better at understanding it, educating ourselves, and having patience with our elderly loved ones, and even sadly sometimes younger loved ones, discussing what the best options are for those affected, both the patient & the family.  In Biden's case, it's knowing when to say enough is enough!


My mother sent me this poem before she forgot who she was, and who I was, and I want to share it:


I Can't Remember


Just a line to say I'm living

That I'm not among the dead

Though I'm getting more forgetful

And all mixed up in my head.

I got used to my arthritis

To my dentures, I'm resigned

I can manage my bifocals

But Dear God, I miss my mind

For sometimes I can't remember

When I stand at the foot of the stairs

If I must go up for something

or have I just come down from there?

And before the fridge so often

My poor mind is filled with doubt

Have I just put some food away, or 

Have I come to take some out?

And there's time, when it is dark

I stop and hold my head

I don't know if I'm retiring

Or if I'm getting out of bed?

So if it's my turn to write you

There's no need getting sore

I may think that I have written

And don't want to be a bore.

So remember that I love you

And wish that you were near

But now it's nearly mail time

So must say "Goodbye Dear"

Here I stand beside the mailbox

With a face so very red

Instead of mailing you my letter

I went and opened it instead.


*In Loving Memory of My Mother, Mildred L. Bushman






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Journaling For Mental Health

March 17, 2021

COVID has taken all of our lives and turned them upside down...oh let me count the ways.  Stress is at an all-time high, with all the restrictions where we can, or cannot go, that's safe?  Masks are two-fold in that first, they don't work, second, they are causing unforeseen medical issues (gum disease, staph infections, severe acne, severe facial infections, and ironically lung/breathing issues) and no one seems to care.  Just looking within ourselves is not enough, we need to take all of our emotions and put them into words.  It doesn't even have to be pretty, just your own honest feelings.  Grammatical errors, typos, and changes in sentence structure can be corrected later, if at all.  That's the beauty of journaling.


Hundreds of dollars are spent on counseling, especially now, which for some is the appropriate course due to the level of their need.  However, during the time we are presently in, I believe that under normal circumstances, we, for the most part, are happy people.  I would worry about someone if they didn't experience some anxiety & depression as we maneuver thru this COVID maze.  Those seriously struggling are the individuals who would benefit the most from both counseling & journaling their feelings.


My blog is a way for me to journal, but lately I've been missing just journaling my thoughts, which are all over the place by the way.  But when I'm finished, I feel much lighter and so does my heart.  I think it makes me a better person.  At least I hope so!  


Some people find it more beneficial to write in the morning, some in the evening.  Choose a time of the day that works best for you.  Our schedules can suddenly change causing us to interchange the time of day that we journal.  Whatever works.  


There are so many benefits to journaling:


*Mental Health

*Dealing with Fears & Concerns

*Positive Change in Thoughts

*Keeping Stress to a Minimum

*Better Sleep Habits

*Improving Memory

*Anger


And who knows, maybe you'll find out that you actually like writing so much you'll consider the possibility of writing freelance articles or or even becoming an author.


I have some friends who ask me if I'm afraid that my personal journals may be read by others upon my death, or even prior to.  My answer is always the same.  My thoughts are just that, my thoughts, and I don't, and won't, apologize or them.  So don't let that stop you!


Writing down your feelings are much better than acting them out, especially if the thoughts are one born out of anger, frustration, resentment.  Writing is cathartic!


Writing also is about Faith...


For we live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)


  

  


 

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Smart Watches & Your Heart

March 16, 2021 

Smart watches are just that...smart.  The inner workings of a smart watch have to be smart to do everything that they do today! 

Although I have a smart phone, I'm investing in my first-ever Apple Series6 smart watch.  Why?  Because I want to live.  I am a heart patient, and wearing an Apple Series6 smart watch will be like having my cardiologist on my wrist.  Just how cool is that?!  I am at risk for cardiac arrest due to my individual heart issues.  This smart watch can literally save my life, when I would otherwise not even know I'm in danger of losing it.  


Here is a list of what the Apple watch can do for me & for you when it comes to heart health:


*Up to 18 hours of battery life

*Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app

*Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app

*64-bit dual-core S6 processor; Up to 20 percent faster than S5

*5GHz Wi-Fi and U1 Ultra Wideband chip

*Track your daily activity on Apple Watch and see your trends in the Fitness app on iPhone

*Measure workouts like running, walking, cycling, yoga, swimming, and dance

*Swimproof design, Water resistant 50 meters

*High and low heart rate notifications and irregular heart rhythm notification

*Built-in compass and real-time elevation readings

*Can detect if you've taken a hard fall, then automatically call emergency services for you

*Emergency SOS lets you get help from your wrist


I live alone, so all of these features are important to me but none more than the detection of a hard fall, and the automatic call for emergency services to my location.  Cardiac arrest gives no warning as heart attacks often do...the heart just stops requiring immediate CPR & the use of an AED  


Heart Attacks & Cardiac Arrest can sneak up on you so fast that there is no time for you to call 911 if you are secluded.  


Although a smart watch can bring peace of mind, this is not a replacement for making sure that you have your heart checked at yearly visits, or if you suspect your heart is beating irregularly.  Your physician and/or cardiologist can better determine if you do have heart issues, or why your heartbeat is irregular...that is if there's time to do so.


Heart disease is the number one killer of both men & women over all cancers, other chronic illnesses, and all other causes of death (accidents/suicides/overdoses/medical malpractice).  Women are dying at a faster rate however due to lack, on the part of the woman and sometimes medical personnel, of knowing that women's symptoms are often different from that of a man.  Women are also more likely not to be taken seriously in an ER environment...we usually are diagnosed with anxiety and sent home.  Many women die that same day, or within days, after being sent home.  This has to change!   


Take good care of your heart, as it's the major organ that's keeping you alive.  Exercise, eat healthy, don't smoke or stop if you do, curb your alcohol intake, and most of all keep your stress level to a minimum.  


Love Your Heart Today!



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COVID Vaccines...To Get Or Not To Get?

March 12, 2021

Families & Friends have had many a bitter disagreement regarding the wearing of masks, distancing, hand sanitizing, but mainly over the COVID virus itself.  Was this a true pandemic, or just another political ploy to win an election, gain political financial benefits for Democrats & Big Pharma, but even worse than that, to gain control of the American people.  Now we face yet  another issue, decision, to argue over regarding COVID...to get vaccinated or not?


With all the mixed messages that Americans are receiving from government, health agencies (CDC, WHO, NIH, FDA), and Dr. Fauci who changes his mind more than most people change their underwear, none of the above decisions are easy ones to make.  For me, this is actually a very easy decision.  I don't believe in vaccinations, as there is no way to ever truly know what exactly is being pumped into your blood system.  


I believe that this whole COVID pandemic has been about nothing more than politics.  I'm not saying  COVID isn't real, just that the statistics of cases & deaths are not valid!  COVID somehow all but eradicated deaths due to the Flu, Pneumonia, Strep Throat, Cancer, Heart Disease, Staph Infections, Diabetes, COPD, Sepsis, other Chronic Illnesses, and in some cases even car/motorcycle accidents.  Death certificates are being marked as COVID for cause of death, even when that wasn't even a remote possibility.  In reality, there are more deaths from car accidents in one day than from COVID in a day.  Deaths from car accidents cannot be fudged, where COVID deaths can & have.  What bothers me most is that no one hesitates for one second to hop into their car, but double masks even in their own vehicles.  Those masks aren't going to save them in a serious car crash, and they sure aren't going to save them from COVID, otherwise this virus would be gone!


Americans have let their panic override their common sense.  They don't research and/or educate themselves on the truths and untruths of COVID...they just mask up essentially killing their immune systems, stay away from their loved ones, forgo funerals, birthdays, holidays, all because Dr. Fauci told them to.  Americans have forgotten how to fight for themselves, their health, and that of their loved ones.  It's easier for most to take the road most traveled, but for those like myself, who have a need to know, I will take the road less traveled and will question everything before ever following the advice of someone who doesn't know me or my body at all.  I am my own best advocate and each & every American should be theirs before being injected with a substance that they know nothing about.  The COVID vaccines have not even been FDA approved, yet panic has caused Americans to run, not walk, to their nearest clinic for the vaccine.  Ignorance is bliss.


Our grandchildren will one day be reading in school about this time in the history of America...the biggest hoax ever known to happen in our country.  


I pray for my children & grandchildren every day, that the world in which they grow up in will be one less greedy, and one that cares more about people than about lining their pockets with taxpayers money, and for political gain.


God Bless America!

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Heart Disease Awareness Month

February 11, 2021

February has long been known as HEART DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH.  If I had my way, Heart Disease Awareness Month would be all twelve months out of the year and dedicated especially to women who die at a much faster rate than men.  


As a freelance writer, I often send in stories or educational pieces to magazines regarding women & heart disease.  All of the magazines I approach, any other month than February, always turn me down, no matter how good the article is, due to it not being Heart Disease Awareness Month.  It's like women don't die the other eleven months out of the year. 


Women die at a much faster rate than men due to being ignored, uneducated about heart disease, and don't know that their symptoms of a heart attack might be different from that of a man.  Men typically grab their chest, then fall to the ground.  Chest pain is their first indicator, but for women, it could be an unusual stomach ache, the jaw hurting, the back of the neck aching, unusual fatigue, a shoulder hurting without reason, pressure in the chest area, and/or chest pain.  


For me, chest pain was not one of my initial symptoms, but chest pressure was, along with palpitations, back of neck ache, unusual fatigue, and extremely low blood pressure.  About three years into these symptoms with no answers, I had chest pain so severe I began profusely sweating and then threw up.  This was without any mistake a heart attack.


I ended up firing four cardiologists before finding one who would take me, and my symptoms, seriously.  I did not look like your typical heart patient being 5'2" and weighing 107.  I was a non-smoker, non-diabetic, always exercised and ate healthy foods.  It was hard for those first four cardiologists to take me serious, although they should have, as well as friends and family struggling with my new chronic disease.  I didn't look sick so therefore I wasn't sick.  This was the most frustrating part of my diagnosis!  It was like screaming HELP without anyone hearing me.


And this is how I came up with the title Can You Hear Me Now: or do I need to yell into your stethoscope?  I always get a laugh out of people when I tell them the title of my book.  I'm proud to say that I sold out of my books, and I am now in the process of updating the second edition!  I've received praise by not only heart patients, but those who are not heart patients, and even cardiologists.


Women should ask for a full cardio workup if they ever find themselves at the ER for any of the symptoms I've mentioned.  They may argue with you, but don't give in...it could be the last thing you ever do.  Women should also, at their yearly check-ups ask their physician for an EKG, echocardiogram, and blood test in order to see if they have any heart issues which may need treatment.  Women are so quick to request their yearly mammogram and pap smear, but fail to request testing on their heart, which is the most important body organ, even though heart disease is the number one killer of women!


Every patient should learn to advocate for themselves, and if they can't seem to find their voice, then they should take someone with them to the doctor visit who can.  I've never given out medical advice, but I've handed out my fair share of advocacy advice...how to advocate for one's self, and how to advocate for their loved ones.  Lives depend on this!


Be Strong & Be Heard...make sure that your physician listens to you and not just with their stethoscope! 

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Alcohol & Drug Abuse Destroy Families

January 17, 2021

Families dealing with alcohol & drug addiction are much like that of a fractured window pane.  Hard to repair, and in some cases irreparable.  The cracks & holes in the hearts of those family members affected often remain fractured forever.


But, there is help...  


Interventions are often used in order to reach out to the afflicted, but more times than not they don't work.  Why?  Because the abuser did not seek out help, but was forced to see the error of their ways.  Sometimes families even become more fractured when intervention is attempted, due to the noncompliance of the person abusing alcohol or drugs. The abuser doesn't accept any responsibility in their addiction, laying blame at the feet of their loved ones.  They have every excuse in the world as to why they drink and/or do drugs.  She/he didn't love me enough.  I just hate my job.  Everyone is against me. No one understands my needs.  And the list goes on and one.


Lack of confidence & self-esteem, can often lead to alcohol & drug abuse, which usually begins at an early age, festering as the years go by.  The other end of that spectrum is when the addicted also suffer from narcissism, believing that everyone else beside them are responsible for the problems.  Everything they do is perfect.  It's everyone else who is at fault.  They live in a fantasy world, never coming up for air long enough to see the reality of the chaos they have created, especially in their own family.


Often the addicted end up being arrested (OVI; Domestic Violence; Drug Charges), which can result in either an even lower self-esteem than before, or their narcissism increases to a whole new level.  At this point both the addict and the family members feel that all hope is lost.  


Getting the right individualized help can be the beginning, if not the answer, of the addict arising out of the ashes, overcoming the addiction.  Addiction is a lifetime challenge, so when saying an addict can overcome their addiction, means they can stop using, but one day at a time.  Going to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings consistently can help an addict remain on the road to sobriety.


The road to sobriety can be difficult when the road they left behind is littered with broken promises, disappointments, hard feelings, and fractured lives of those who have been hurt along the addict's journey.  Forgiveness is difficult, if not impossible, for those left in the wake of broken glass.  Wives/husbands file for divorce, children are left with many questions with very few answers.  Lies and broken promises can not be recouped.  Sobriety is often a lonely journey, but if there is any hope for the addict to remain sober, they must travel the road alone and hope for the best.  


There is nothing more challenging, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching than watching a loved one go down the path of alcohol & drug abuse, unable to help them.  I've only mentioned a few of the options, not all good, that could save the addict and his or her family.  The most important one is when the addict does it themselves, reaching out for the help they need.  Making amends to those they've hurt is extremely important in the recovery process.  Without admitting the damage they have left behind they can never move forward.


Here are some helpful ways of reaching out for help:


Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline

National Helpline 1-800-662-4357


Al-Anon (for family members of addicts)

National Al-Anon Helpline 1-800-344-2666 


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13)

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Faith Heals

January 13, 2021

When I woke up and looked at today's date seeing the number 13, I thought for sure that there would be a Friday preceding it.  Friday the 13th.  Isn't that the day remembered for "bad luck?"  I've felt, as have many other individuals, that the year 2020 was much like the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray reliving the same day over & over again.  After yet another night of no sleep, I was positive that I was reliving the Groundhog Day movie day-after-day with only the good moments few & far between!  


It became apparent that if I was going to live a healthier life this year than last year, I was going to have to double, if not triple, the amount of Faith I had always relied on in getting through tough times.  When I complained to friends and family, it was always about how everything in my life had taken a sudden sharp turn, and then plummeted down the side of a mountain.  No survivors, right?  


It's taken me 13 days into the New Year in which to realize that if I want 2021 to be better than 2020, I had to have more Faith!   It has always been at the core of how I feel, how I treat others, and how I deal with disappointment.  So, why am I struggling so?  Because we have never been through anything like this past year in our lifetimes, and speaking for myself, it's wreaked havoc on who I used to be.  I'm not liking this new person I've become.  I need more Faith.  With Faith comes Peace, and who of us couldn't use a huge dose of Peace right now!  


Other than my usual heart concerns, I've had weird non-threatening, yet existing, health issues.  Heartburn, skin that feels like a rug burn, sores popping up over night but with ointment are gone by the next day, unusual fatigue, going from not sleeping to sleeping twelve hours, and most of all forgetfulness.  All of these symptoms are tied into my lack of Faith, which results in more stress, adding health issues I don't need!  When I finally realized this, I knew the answer wasn't another medication but more Faith.


And let me tell you, I had grown by leaps & bounds in the past four years prior to 2020 when it came to both Faith & Peace.  No matter what difficulties or disappointments I faced, I  never let go of my Faith and it led me to lead a much happier life. When a curse word slipped out of my mouth, one of the many things I had been working on, I would immediately ask for forgiveness and the strength to not let bad words fly out of my mouth at the first sign of trouble.


In order to heal, one must tell the truth, so I confess to using the "F" words several times today - UGH!  I'm pretty sure that even though it's only 13 days into the New Year, God is already going..."Again?!"   We're all a work in progress.  We know that if the top burner on the stove is on, and we touch it, it's going to burn & hurt.  Yet, we do it anyway.  With all of the negative/fake media in the world today, we know it's bad for us to watch, yet we watch or read it anyway, knowing that it will do nothing but stress us out.  We need to stop running toward the negative, which results in many medical issues we wouldn't have to suffer through, if we'd only just walk away and have Faith.  I'm going to work much harder beginning right now to make Faith a top priority in my life once again.  

I hope you do the same... God Bless!


*God declares I think of you and I have plans for you, prosperity and a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11)


*For we walk by Faith not by sight  (2 Corinthians 5:7)


 

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When All Trust Is Gone...

January 8, 2021

Do you find yourself constantly looking over your shoulder these days?  Don't feel alone.  Everyone is doing it!


You start out young being taught to trust, believe, and find the good in everyone.  Then as the years go by people let you down, even those you hold near and dear to you.  Every generation says that the world is getting crazier, but our elders say no, not really.  It's just the world changing.  Well, I for one am not liking the world right now, and I'd call it unimaginable, not changing.  Changing is like changing your clothes, your shoes, your car.  However, COVID, massive election fraud, finding out that your vote doesn't count, no one to turn to with a community issue, and the places you'd like to visit and see are no longer safe, is not about change, it's about the destruction of America, who I for one cherish and would die for!


So what does all of this have to do with our health?  Everything that is happening in our country today has affected not only our physical state, but also the state of our mental & emotional health.  If you don't wear a mask, you'll get COVID and die, even though there's a 99.7% survival rate.  Talk about messing with one's mind!  If you wear a mask, you risk possible lung issues, gum disease, staph infections around the mouth and face, which can be deadly, severe acne, and for people like myself, who can't wear a mask due to heart & lung disease, find themselves in the store getting screamed at by customers who have lost their minds through all of this.  Many of our elderly with medical issues that keep them from wearing a mask, are opting to stay home rather than be screamed at, resulting in depression, no hope for a brighter tomorrow, and worst of all, no visits from family & friends.  Many of our parents and grandparents have given up, stopped eating, and just waiting to die.  


Suicides, drug/alcohol abuse, and domestic violence is at an all-time high.  No one is suffering more than our elderly and our children.  Many children, due to virtual learning (Zoom), those who are fortunate enough to have a home computer, are severely depressed, angry, and even some turning to drugs, alcohol & suicide.


The state of America & All Americans survival is at stake, but who do we trust?  Who do we go to with individual concerns, health issues, community problems?  Lack of trust has resulted in stress levels higher than they've ever been in our history, and concern by our government has never been lower.  Government concern for the people, their constituents, is not only at the bottom of the totem pole, it's actually underground beneath the totem pole.  


Back to stress.  Stress is the NUMBER ONE KILLER OF EVERY AMERICAN!!  Stress wreaks havoc on our physical, mental, and emotional health, and in some cases has turned out to be deadly.  But where do we go with our issues regarding stress?  I have a wonderful psychologist I have seen in the past, but I have to wonder, how stressed is he?  He not only has to deal with his own stress, but the stress of others all day long, five days a week or more.   The ER's are overwhelmed, and when medical staff are overwhelmed, suffering from lack of sleep, and the responsibilities of home, mistakes get made.  Medical mistakes were already the third leading cause of death before 2020.  I can't even imagine how many medical mistakes are occurring now.  I for one hesitate going to the ER at this time.  So many people with chronic medical issues are staying home rather than going to their doctor or to the ER out of fear.  The fear that they will be told they have COVID, placed into ICU, and before they know it they're on a ventilator to help them breath, which might have an opposite effect if they don't really need it.


For me, I keep myself busy with my writing, exercising, and taking long walks when able.  I would suggest that each of you find activities that you believe are safe for both you and your family, and work toward getting past any depression, stress, anxiety that may have set in during this very trying time.


This is a scary world we live in today.  Don't let anyone tell you different... oh, it's like this with every generation, it's just change.  NO, it's NOT just change!  It's crippling, devastating, and deadly.  


I encourage you to reach out to anyone that you know is depressed, suffering anxiety, or abusing alcohol and/or drugs.  Call them.  Send them an uplifting note, giving them hope for a brighter tomorrow.  We have to help each other, because, in all honesty, who else can we trust?  Government does not make America great.  They actually are fracturing the dynamics of what does make America great... families, communities, and friendships do!


Reach out and touch someone today!

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Christmas Is Not Cancelled!!!

December 25, 2020

Although government officials were ordering American citizens to cancel Christmas, most families did not.  Canceling Christmas, at least in my opinion & many other's, is NOT acceptable under any circumstances, including COVID!


I look at this blog photo and wonder what would have happened had Mary & Joseph stayed home instead of traveling to Bethlehem for the birth of our Lord & Savior due to a virus?  They braved a difficult journey, harsh weather, and Mary endured giving birth in a dirty, cold stable.  Nothing deterred them from gathering together during this glorious occasion, and families should be together at Christmastime to celebrate the birth of Jesus.


What's happened to our Faith in God?  Some high-level politicians and supposed scientists tell us it's not safe to travel and/or gather together for Christmas, yet hop on planes themselves to be with their own families.  Then once they get caught all we get is an "I'm so sorry.  I should have not traveled, nor congregated with my family."  Well that makes everything better...I don't think so!


I had a wonderful Christmas celebration with my family on Christmas Eve and I will not apologize for doing so.  I refuse to live my life in false fear, and will turn all of it over to God for safekeeping!


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior , who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel  a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"  Luke 2:11-14 ESV


Stand Your Ground, Have a Merry Christmas with Family, & God Bless!

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Unexpected Silent Victims of COVID-19

December 21, 2020

Most of us know of the negative & deadly side effects of COVID-19.  What most people don't know however is about those "unexpected" silent victims of the virus.  


In some cities, like that of San Francisco, CA, the death toll from drug overdoses have greatly surpassed the number of deaths due to COVID.  It's difficult enough for individuals who have no addictions to deal with the world in which we live today, let alone those with drug & alcohol addictions.  Jobs have been lost, homes have gone into foreclosure leaving many families homeless, cars have been repossessed, there's not enough money to put food on the table, children are expected to learn from home, leaving parents at a loss of how to best handle their children's educational needs, and many families are for the first time ever together 24/7 in the same home with no escape.  Even children have turned to alcohol & drugs to numb the knowledge, meant for adults only, that their world will never be the same again.


Suicide rates have skyrocketed beyond anything we could have ever imagined.  Just recently an 11-year old boy, while on Zoom with his classmates and teacher, put a gun to his head, shooting himself, leaving his classmates and teachers completely stunned, and this 11-year old boy dead.  Eleven years old and he thought he had nothing left to live for... how heartbreaking is that?  Our elderly see no hope in their futures, what is left of it, so they stop eating, stop taking their meds, which is suicide in and of itself, and in some cases have actually killed themselves.  Without any in-person interaction with family & friends, no hugs, no holding of hands, no touching, our elderly  for a whole year, see no reason to keep living.  Again, heartbreaking.


Loss of jobs, homes, cars, and even worse, loved ones, has escalated the number of domestic violence cases often resulting in spousal death.  In some cases domestic violence ends in the deaths of every family member in the home, typically shot to death in their sleep before the perpetrator turns the gun on him or herself. 


Mental illness has also taken a turn for the worse, with many who already were suffering from mental illness taking a deadly turn.  Life was already inexplicably hard for them to get through, before eventually being forced down the rabbit hole, never to be seen again, leaving family and friends to mourn the loss of their loved one, and way too soon... many sadly at a very, very young age.


The powers-to-be want us to believe that if we just only distance (the elderly can't distance anymore than they already are); wear masks that don't work, with the exception of hiding the stress & depression we wear underneath those masks; wash our hands or sanitize them until our hands are raw; and even worse they want to take away our family Thanksgivings, Christmas', but most of all our God.  They allow strip clubs to remain open but not churches.  Small businesses have been lost forever, but high-end restaurants such as The French Laundry in California remain open for celebrities, politicians, and the like, for dinners & celebrations.  So many more examples but just thinking about them piss me off so....


Here are some hotline numbers for those in need:


National Drug & Alcohol Addiction Hotline

1 (800) 854-6025


National Suicide Hotline

1 (800) 273-8255 


National Domestic Violence Hotline

1 (800) 799-7233


National Mental Health Hotline

1 (800) 662-4357 


This blog was the hardest one for me to write, but no where near as hard as it has been on those who have been lost, or have lost someone, to one of the above consequences of COVID. 


May God Bless Those Suffering & Place His Hands Over Them Bringing Them Peace & Faith!   

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Memories of Those We've Lost

December 12, 2020

We all have memories of those we've lost along the way in life, but none more vivid that those memories from past Holidays & Celebrations.  They may be gone, but they do not have to be forgotten.


The first time I ever held a camera in my hands I knew that it would be a part of my life forever.  That first cheap camera began my journey of those memories I still hold dear today.  Some photos help me remember my loved ones at all times throughout the years, but none more than those photos from Christmas, Births, Birthdays, Weddings, Halloween, extracurricular activities of my children & grandchildren, and vacations.  


In today's world, with the capabilities of cellular phone use for taking photos, we've somehow lost the ability or desire to actually print out these photos, placing them in photo albums for those left behind long after we are gone.  Cell phones get dropped, broken beyond repair, and cellular systems often fail taking our memories with them.  


No one lives forever, and when our lives end, without tangible photos of loved ones, memories end as well.  This doesn't have to be the case.  


Put aside one day a month to develop those photos on your phone and/or camera, buy a photo album, then place each one carefully so that those left behind can share, laughing, maybe even shedding a tear or two, at those memories that might have been long forgotten forever.


Photos heal.  I lost my father eleven years ago and I am so blessed to have hundreds if not more of my father that I cherish & hope my family will too one day.  


When asked what you want for Christmas this year, maybe you could ask for a camera, a good one, not like my first one...I had to prove myself worthy of a good camera before I was able to have one.  I eventually became a nature photographer, publishing a Spiritual Coffee Table Book filled with photos I took at a place I can only describe as Heaven on Earth, Radnor Lake in Brentwood, TN.  Although I now live back in my home town, Cincinnati, OH, I often pick up my book and remember the peace that Radnor Lake brought me, and the healing that took place there.


May the memories of your loved one's who have passed continue on, not only during Holidays & Celebrations, but throughout the years.


I Miss You Dad, but I have my memories to keep you alive until we meet again...


  

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Stress & Heart Disease

December 10, 2020

Every Christmas a heart patient's heart is tested due to the stress of the Holidays.  However, this year our hearts are truly being tested more than ever with the COVID virus, restrictions on where & when we can go, and mandated mask-wearing.   


Although alcohol, and in some cases drugs, appear to be the answer, they're not.  It's like putting a bandaid on an arterial bleed.  Alcohol and drug abuse cases have tripled due to individual's lives changing drastically since the beginning of the year due to the restrictions placed by government from going about our normal routines i.e. school, church, movies, holiday celebrations, etc., and suicides have doubled.  These restrictions have especially affected our elderly who have decided that they do not want to live out the rest of their lives in a lockdown, with no contact from family and/or friends.  So, they just give up.  


Which brings us to depression and stress.  Families are stressed that they can no longer hug or touch their loved ones in their dying days.  If you go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, Christmas shopping, out to eat, or even for a walk in the park, and can't wear a mask due to breathing issues, you can actually be assaulted by another person.  No stress there, right?  


Although I wish I had the answer to alleviating the stress we all are experiencing in our lives in today's world, sadly I don't have the answer.  The best advice I can give however, to stay Heart Healthy, is to exercise, get some fresh air by taking a walk if possible, eat healthy foods, place a phone call to someone who is shut in, read positive quotes, devotionals & scripture, and most of all, PRAY!!!   Prayer has shown to be very effective when stressed, and in numbers extremely effective, so Pray, Pray, and then Pray some more.


If your depression, use of alcohol/drugs, suicidal thoughts  intensify, DO NOT hesitate to seek out professional help either with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or call the National Suicide Hotline 988.  Don't let stress take over your life...get help today.  Your heart will thank you! 


There is HOPE for a brighter tomorrow... 

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Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020

2020 has been the craziest year of my natural life!  COVID-19, Presidential Election, Shutdowns, Small Businesses Close for Good, Distancing, Hand Sanitizing, Mask-Wearing (or not), and very strong opinions regarding all of these issues as they affected each & everyone of our lives.


It wasn't until I sat down to write this Blog regarding Thanksgiving 2020, that I realized that in between all the crazy & chaos, there was so much to be thankful for.  First, just waking up in the morning is nothing short of a miracle!  The fact that God has given us yet another day, no matter how good or bad, is another day to Rejoice in!  Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" says it allAnd if the sun should be shining, well, that's just icing on the cake!


Knowing that your parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, other family members and friends are alive & healthy is the ultimate meaning of what it means to give Thanks.  It's so easy to get caught up in the negativity of what is happening in the world today, we often forget that there is much to be grateful for...sadly me included.  There have been many times this year where my Faith has surely been tested... where I cannot, no matter how many devotionals, positive quotes, Bible Scriptures I read, can't seem to lift myself from the funk in my mind, which reminds me that recognizing the good can't be found in my mind, but my Spirit.  If I don't have the Holy Spirit living in my Heart, then I am bound to be lost, not only for that day, but for as long as I choose for it to.  YIKES!


For the last ten years I found myself being grateful for everything from six green lights in a row, finding the last chocolate chip cookie at the Blue Bird Bakery, almost slipping on my hardwood floor but didn't, to watching true miracles happen in both my family's & my friend's lives.  It was then I realized I had began praying more for them than I ever did myself.  Unconditional Love can do that to a person.  I was definitely on to something.  


Then 2020 hit like a level ten hurricane, if there is such a thing, and all of our lives turned upside down, inside out, twisted, and just mind altering.  If you have not, are not, affected by all that's happening this year, then you either have your head buried in the sand or are dead, at least spiritually.  Then I look at the good, the True Good that has resulted from this very difficult time for all... "With God All Things Are Possible"  (Matthew 19:26).  I know without a doubt that my relationship with God, as well as my heart health, has been strengthened by leaps & bounds!  


I'd be a liar if I didn't say that I still have bad days, but I'm working hard at getting back to being grateful instead of sad, angry, frustrated, entitled.  God is surely working on me day in and day out.  I'm going to make it... so are YOU!!!!


So to 2020 I say Goodbye & Good Riddance!  You may have stolen many things from me this past year, however, you could NOT steal away my Faith that With God ALL Things ARE Possible!


Happy Thanksgiving To My Family & Friends....




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COVID VACCINE: To Take Or Not To Take?

November 5, 2020

I was supposed to have a heart test next week that would indicate whether or not my cardiologist would move forward with a heart biopsy.  We were finally moving toward finding  what we believed was at the core of my heart issues that was slowly stealing my quality of life.  


We set the date and time and all of the paperwork was completed both on my part & that of the hospital.  Today, I received a phone call that I would be required to let them test me for COVID.  My answer was an immediate NO!  If their masks worked why would I be required to be put through a COVID test that I did not believe in?  COVID testing has proven to not be reliable, and I wasn't about to put myself through a possible fourteen day quarantine based off of a positive negative.


Withstanding what the media is telling us, which is not the truth, but a way of distracting & controlling us until the Presidential Election is decided, this process might not render a result until next year sometime.  Voter ballot numbers are skewed just like the number of cases & deaths for COVID.  Voter fraud along with being lied to about just how bad the supposed new "surge" in COVID cases/deaths is egregious!  Yet I'm supposed to trust a COVID vaccine?  I don't think so.


Back to the test I had scheduled for next week.  I was asked if I wanted to talk with the scheduling department to reschedule my test.  I chose to call them when it was no longer a requirement to take a COVID test in order to get a heart test and/or procedure.  The nurse I was talking with seemed put off and offended but I didn't care.  My body... My choice.  And if there is a vaccine that comes out in my lifetime, I will never take it, as I have never had a flu, pneumonia, shingles, or any other vaccine since I was an adolescent.  I only had the flu once, pneumonia never and only a short bout with shingles in my early twenties.  


My mother had a DES (diethylstilbestrol) vaccine in 1953 due to her doctor telling her it was in her best interest so she wouldn't miscarry or give birth to a deformed baby.  That baby was me.  Pregnant women everywhere were being given the same advice.  Horrified by the possibilities my mom took the vaccine.  I was born that same year in December  with no signs of deformity,  but a heart murmur the pediatrician never followed up.  I had symptoms my whole life indicating I had heart issues, but in those days doctors didn't believe that a woman could have heart disease, let alone a child, especially female.  Also, none of my siblings exhibited any heart problems growing up and have no heart issues as adults. 


So, here I am sixty-seven years later and I not only have congenital heart issues, but many others including idiopathic pulmonary hypertension.  My quality of life has decreased to a place I never thought I'd find myself at this age.  And why?  Because my mother was frightened into taking a vaccine that was unnecessary.  Most daughters of those women who took the DES vaccine ended up with a vaginal (CCA) or cervical cancer and had pregnancy complications.  I am very skeptical of all vaccines, not to mention medications.  Many of my heart medications have been recalled due to being defecting, therefore increasing my chances of becoming a cancer patient. 

*No follow-up was ever completed by the CDC to find out how many DES daughters had congenital heart issues due to the medical field believing that women couldn't have heart disease, let alone a child. 


Every patient must know their body, research all vaccines, as well as medications.  Medications could be recalled without the pharmacy knowing for months.  Those days of trusting everything that the medical world leads us to believe, that every vaccine & medication they prescribe is safe, are gone.  Actually, they've been gone for a long time, we just didn't know about it.


My mom, God rest her soul, would have never taken that vaccine had she known the dangers and what it would mean for my quality of life both as a child and as an adult.


In an age where we're all so concerned about what foods we put into our bodies, we should also be concerned about what we medically put into our bodies.  


"Medical interventions kill more Americans each year than [the medical issue itself], murders, car accidents...combined."

(Jeanne Lenzer: The Danger Within Us 2017)





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Election Day 2020

November 3, 2020

In the history of our country there has NEVER been a more contentious Presidential Election!  Even some of the other voting will be more challenging than in the past.  In 2016, Donald J. Trump, a non-politician, was elected as the President of the United States for the next four years, and never before has there been more outcry from members of Congress who feared President Trump's threat to "drain the swamp."  I don't want to get into the politics of this Election, but the stress surrounding it.


I've said for some time now that "stress" is the number one killer of all people, and my view on this is being challenged more now than ever before.  The pressure surrounding the Election & Voters has never been more intense....riots, businesses being looted and burned to the ground, assaults and even murders.  People are afraid.  They are afraid to display the American Flag due to retribution, which is not lost on me, as this means that one of the two Presidential candidates does not support the American Flag.  Placing Presidential preference in one's yard is now seen as an affront to a neighbor who is voting for the "other" candidate.  Cars which normally would display a flag or bumper sticker stating who their choice for President is, has all but diminished due to damage being done to their vehicles.  The stress has been overwhelming to say the least!  


Add to all of that the Coronavirus in 2020, which continues to pit one American against another due to the legitimacy of the virus along with mandatory medical mask wearing, to the already  controversial Presidential Election, and you've got total chaos.  I don't believe that I can ever remember a time when the stress level in the lives of Americans everywhere was at such an all-time high.  


When did we lose our Faith in God?  Where is our Faith no matter the outcome of this Election?  Where is our Faith that this virus will cease to control our lives?  I know where my Faith went.  It went out the window when the media became unreliable and remain so, and social media (Twitter) became a part of my daily life.  After finally realizing I was on a downward spiral mentally, emotionally & physically, I chose to turn off all news media outlets five months ago, and just recently pulled the plug on Twitter.  I didn't like who I was becoming, not to mention that the stress of Twitter was affecting me and not in a positive way!  It was more than eye opening to hear and see so much anger & hatred in people.  Actually, it was heartbreaking. 


It will be a long time before this Presidential Election will be truly over, and even longer for the virus to not be a part of our daily lives.  If we don't make a conscientious decision to turn all of our stress, anger, resentment over to God who does have control, we will miss out on the joy that each & every day can bring.  The joy of just waking up, of a child's laughter, of the beauty of the falling fall leaves from the trees, the excitement over the smallest things in life like a call from a long distance friend.  How precious each day is.  When we lose sight of that, giving stress control over our minds and bodies, we have surely lost our way.  I'm just glad to have found my way back before permanent damage was done.  Do yourselves a favor today and let go & let God.   


"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you"  (1 Peter 5:7 NLT) 



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Halloween 2020

October 31, 2020

Parents & children everywhere have opted for a new kind of mask this Halloween...a medical mask.  It's not that their children are going trick-or-treating as doctors or nurses but due to mandatory mask wearing & I'm not talking about the traditional Halloween mask!  These masks are the scariest masks that kids could wear on Halloween.


Parents are afraid if they don't place medical masks on their children, at any time during the threat of COVID, not just Halloween, their children will contract the virus.  Mask-wearing by children is much more scary than any Halloween mask due to young children not having yet developed their immune systems, thus compromising both the child & their health.  


So many world renown physicians have come out against the masks for all ages, but especially regarding children wearing them.  These physicians do not believe that the masks work to begin with and that placing them on a child can be detrimental to their well being.  Many mask wearers, adults & children alike, are finding themselves with breathing difficulties, lung issues & gum disease that they did not have prior to wearing the masks.


Although I am considered elderly at age 67 and have pre-existing health conditions, I have chosen not to wear a mask.  Why?  Because all of the research I have recovered, points to more issues after wearing a mask then providing protection against this specific virus.  There were 60.8 million H1N1 U.S. cases with a zero panic level.  COVID-19 U.S. cases have a total of 6.8 million  cases with mass hysteria, resulting in our country being closed.  Why no hysteria or closing of our country during H1N1?  Only one answer to this question & that is this the 2020 contentious Presidential Election, one like the U.S. has never seen the likes of in it's history of Elections.


The politicians will not suffer from these closures or mask-wearing, the people will & have.  Small businesses have had to close their doors for good after 50+ years in business...unacceptable!   I bring this up due to the increase in suicides, heart attacks & people just flat giving up.  Sad.  The loss of lives & livelihoods has been beyond anything our country has ever experienced, even the Great Depression.  


I encourage patients to continue seeking out medical advice & care in person during this time, and not on some viral set-up on the internet.  How can a physician properly diagnose a patient, then treat the issues/disease without ever seeing the patient?  They can't.  We have let fear control every aspect of our lives all in the name of politics.  It's time to reclaim our lives & our children's lives.  


God, and only  God, has the ability to predict our future...it's time to let him do so.  


Faith over Fear!     

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Patients Foregoing Important Medical Testing During COVID

October 20, 20202

Many patients are foregoing important medical testing due to their fear of contracting COVID-19.  In my opinion, foregoing important medical testing, especially if a patient is chronically ill, is more dangerous than the chances of contracting COVID.  Again, this is just my opinion as a National Patient Advocate as well as a chronically ill heart patient.   I have continued to see my primary doctor & two cardiologists during this time as well as getting the necessary testing.


It's important to think for yourself, but to also get medical professional advice at the same time from your physicians before depending on the media hype surrounding this virus.  No one knows you better than yourself and your physician, and medical decisions should be based on your individual medical needs.  


Some medical testing may be able to be deferred to a later date, however, if you are having unusual symptoms or symptoms that are worsening, find a lump, finding yourself needing immediate medical attention, etc.  please do not hesitate to get the help you need.  It could mean the difference between life & death withstanding the virus' outcome. 


The takeaway here is don't hesitate to keep up your vital medical care during COVID.  You have a whole life ahead of you, so take care of you, your health & your future! 



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Is COVID Leading To Elderly Suicide?

September 28, 2020

I don't get on Twitter much, but I was on it yesterday, and there was a video of an elderly lady in a nursing home crying, reaching her arms out toward what I could only assume was a computer screen, asking for a hug.  Her son was on the other end.  He could see her & she could see him, but the devastating impact that they weren't allowed to be in the same room let alone touch, was apparent & just heart wrenching, both for them and for me to watch.  He just kept repeating to his mother "I love you, I love you, I love you!"  She could not understand why she couldn't touch him through the screen, tapping it with her fingers often, and of course couldn't grasp why her son had not come to see her for so long :(  


The son asked the nurse who had come into the room whether or not his mother still had on the "ankle bracelet," like the ones criminals wear for house arrest. Having worked in law enforcement I was like WHAT????  Why is this elderly lady, whose in a wheelchair, wearing an ankle bracelet, which probably was rubbing against her aging, thinning skin.  The nurse stated that she was.  The son then said "It's like she's in a prison!"  He was right, she was. 


COVID has inappropriately, and in my opinion illegally, taken away the rights of so many Americans, but none moreso than the rights of the elderly who are already living alone in nursing homes, assisted living or at home.  Many are already lonely, but take away family, friend's, pastor visits, and they begin to believe they are left with no reason to live.  The suicide rate for elderly , whether they are in a nursing home, assisted living, or even in their own home, has sadly skyrocketed due to loneliness that they just cannot bear one more day.  They see no end to their isolation, so they end their lives. 


Due to COVID staff at nursing homes, assisted living & home health care having drastically decreased & those still working  becoming overwhelmed, has left many staff short-tempered, less patient, and not providing the care that these elderly patients need & want.  It's a vicious cycle.


What makes all of this even sadder, is that it didn't have to happen this way.  The numbers involving COVID cases, as well as deaths, across America were skewed from the very beginning all due to the 2020 Presidential Election.  The truth is slowly coming out regarding these false numbers of cases & deaths in many states across our nation, but sadly not in time for those elderly who see no way out but to commit suicide, whether that be by saving up their pills to take all at once, to stop eating/drinking, and in some cases taking even more drastic measures to get out of the hell that political games & gains  have wreaked on their lives.


We must do better!  We have to fiercely protect our elderly from this EVER happening again...after all, they spent their lives protecting us, their children.


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America Living In Fear

September 1, 2020

Fear among Americans has never been as high as it is at this time!  Who do we trust?  If I go outside without a mask on will I die?  Will my kids die?  Which COVID numbers are correct?  We're getting so many conflicting numbers & information  regarding COVID cases, hospitalizations, ICU admittance, and even death that we just don't know what to believe anymore.  Even the strongest of the strong have weakened underneath the pressure of mainstream media, social media & what everyone else is saying and/or doing.


An individual on Twitter stated this & I for one totally agree: 


"If you're still wearing masks and gloves and treating fellow human beings like lepers, your issue is not COVID.  You're addicted to the adrenaline spike of fear and you need a therapist, not Bill Gates' vaccine."  


Fear is such a powerful emotion and can take over our lives if we let it.  Don't let it!  America has endured many other frightening epidemics/pandemics but has never shut down our economy, imprisoned Americans old & young alike, or had us secluded in our homes as COVID has.  Why is this?  It's an election year and there are some very evil people who are willing to tear this Country down in order to win a Presidential election.  Not sure about you, but that doesn't sound very presidential to me.  Okay, enough of the politics, but how could I leave it out of the COVID mix when it has everything to do with it.  We have been lied to and we have been played.  


When states begin allowing us to stop wearing masks, gloves, distancing from others including our loved ones, and get on with life as we once knew it, how many of us truly can, or will?  Fear is a very stubborn emotion to overcome, so it may take some longer than others to once again adjust to another "new norm."  Each and every person will have to decide that for themselves & their immediate family members.  What I hope to not see however, is some being judged by others no matter what their choice is.  Not everyone is a leader, actually most aren't, but rather are followers.  I was taught to be a leader, and have been my entire life, but that goes not give me the right to treat someone else poorly who is just not where I'm at yet.  Addiction is an illness, whether it's alcohol, drugs, sex, food, or in this case fear, the wearing or not wearing of masks.


A little kindness goes a long way!  I wear a bracelet with this saying on it every day to remind me that I need to be kind even when others are not being kind to me.  I cannot wear a mask due to my heart & lung issues, and have been excluded from having to do so.  Some individuals have asked me why I don't have a mask on and it has given me the opportunity to educate them regarding those of us who already can't breathe when we get up in the morning, and even some at night.  Others are not as kind.  I had a lady ruthlessly admonish me for not wearing a mask, stating "YOU don't have a mask on!"  Rather than get mad, I thought why not have a little fun, so I replied, "I don't have underwear on either, so deal with it" and walked away.  When I looked back she was just standing there with her mouth open.  Maybe that wasn't the kindness I was hoping to spread but under the circumstances, it was the best I had at the time.  


I choose Faith over Fear!


We are nearing a very pivotal moment in our lives regarding COVID due to the 2020 Presidential election in November.  I hope that no matter who you choose to vote for that you do it with awareness of the issues, educate yourself, and of course, then vote your conscience.  After all, it is America.


"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." (Franklin D. Roosevelt)


God Bless Each & Every One of Us & God Bless America!

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Cannot Be Silent Anymore!

August 13, 2020

I have never been the "silent" type, so why start now?  I have fought for the victims of domestic violence, child support, dangerous road issues, landfill misuse, etc. so why would I stay silent now when so many human beings are being affected each & every day by COVID-19 which is being used for political purposes & not for our well-being?  I can't.


I am a National Patient Advocate & I will NOT be remiss in my duties of this title after many long years & research!   So many Americans are being "used," that's right, used, to panic them into a mold that they normally would not fit into.  Masks, when used properly, are effective but when used improperly can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy population!  You may not agree with me now, and that's fine, but when all is said & done, you will find that the mandatory wearing of masks has been more damaging than having not worn one,  for both you & your family.  


They, the politicians, know that most people don't want to take the time to research the facts, which in and of itself can be more damaging than the medical issue itself.  As a National Patient Advocate I find it my duty to do the research and to report it as I see it.  And I see the mandatory mask wearing as BS!  That's right, BS, you heard me right the first time!  


Nothing puts fear into the public as much as fear itself.. DO NOT FALL FOR IT!!!!!  How many car accidents are there a year and yet you still choose to get inside your car and take a chance?  But when politicians, not well-meaning politicians by the way, tell you that wearing masks 24/7 is the ONLY way to save yourselves, your family & others you just without any question just dive right in without looking at the long-term effects of wearing a mask full-time.


And if it pans out that I am correct, I promise I will never say "I told you so," because I know in my heart of hearts that you were only trying to protect yourselves & your family.  Too bad that Democratic Congress /Governors/Mayors were not doing the same....


#SaveAmerica



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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others...

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Worry Leads To Stress!

August 12, 2020

I once heard Joyce Myers say Worry is a lot like a rocking chair.  It'll give you something to do, but it will never get you anywhere!   No truer words have been spoken when it comes to worrying.


Stress is a byproduct of worry with stress being the leading cause of death!  So many people don't realize how stress effects their health, their overall appearance, but nothing more serious than depression itself.  


Stress does not discriminate when it comes to age, gender, race, ethnicity, wealth, etc.  It can strike anyone at anytime!  This is why it is so important to not only recognize the signs and symptoms of stress in our own lives, but also that of our loved ones, friends, those in our circle of life, and even strangers.  Although there is somewhat of a list for common signs of depression and/or stress, each individual person has their own telling signs.  I'll use me as an example: I have always prided myself on being a generally happy person, trying to lift those around me up with jokes, laughter (even when the target is myself), and uplifting quotes.  Friends & family can always tell if something is wrong, even if they don't know what that something is, but they reach out anyway.  I am very blessed to have these people in my life and never take them for granted!  Others are not so lucky.  So who sees through the outside into the inside of them?  Us!  We always need to be on high alert for anyone, even a stranger, who we believe might need an encouraging word or action on our part.


Going back to the worry issue, the question remains, "how do I stop myself from worrying?"  Trust me, that's a loaded question!  First, I need to recognize that I'm worrying, and then remind myself what that worrying can lead to.  Is what I'm worrying about worth my life, health, appearance, and loss of joy?  Worry can suck the joy out of even the funniest comic on earth.  R.I.P Robin Williams :(   So, how do I stop worrying?  God made each & every one of us different.  What might help me, might not help you.  What helps me is to get angry at myself for wasting so much time on something I can never do anything about.  For some, being kinder to oneself is the answer.  There are times where we have to worry in order to come to a decision on how to deal with a problem that is real, however, we need to know when to let go & let God!


Find ways for yourself and what works for you when you find yourself worrying to the point of stress, then utilize those ways in order to find peace.  In the end, it depends on our own choice.  And if you feel that counseling is necessary do not hesitate to seek out their help.  Once again, we all are different and need different ways of dealing with our worry & stress. 


No one is EVER going to stop worrying altogether, we're all human.  But like with all other issues in life, we have to every now and then put our big girl/big boy panties on and keep on steppin'...  



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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others...

#InnerStrength

What COVID-19 Means For Chronically Ill Patients 

August 10, 2020

Little did any of us know when this year, 2020, began that we would be entering into the depths of hell, literally!  There isn't a person alive that the Coronovirus has not negatively affected, but none more than those individuals who are chronically ill.  We have become prisoners in our own homes, and viewed as piranhas of society if we venture out not wearing a mask.  Personally, I have difficulty breathing when I get up due to chronic heart & lung issues.  Add a mask to that, and it's impossible!  Most stores have worked with me, with only one that kicked me out... give a middle-aged guy who hates his own life a little power & he's off to the races!


I've always been a motivated person, especially when it comes to exercising & eating healthy.  I now find myself staring at my stationary bike, hand weights, step climber, yoga mat, and standing in front of my pantry & refrigerator twenty times a day, without ever pulling any food out, let alone cooking it.  It goes without saying, that my blogging has suffered as well, with my last blog being in June.  It's like this virus has taken over my whole body, both physically & mentally, even though I do not have, and thankfully haven't had, COVID-19.  


I read my devotionals, look forward to the spiritual text I receive every morning from a local Christian radio station, and I pray throughout the day.  However, at the end of the day, I still feel as if I have not accomplished anything.  In the mornings although I wake up early, I remain lying in my bed with the sheets pulled over my head, asking myself "why am I getting up?  I'm not expected anywhere, and not expecting anyone to visit."  I still make my bed everyday, after I eventually drag my body out of it, and it does give me a small sense of accomplishment, but it doesn't last long.


I look in the mirror at my body, and I have never been this out of shape in my life - UGH!  My weight is fine, it's the flabbiness that is frightening.  It's like the "flabby fairy" comes during the night to place flab in all the wrong places, not that there's a right place for it.  


And of course there's always my heart & lung issues to deal with, but I keep reminding myself just how blessed I am to still be alive, but somehow it's lost it's glow.  I'm just being honest, which makes me sound very selfish, but my give-a-shit-meter is at an all time low right now.  Whatever you do, don't feel sorry for me.  I've sadly got that part covered on my own ):  


I keep hanging on to that old saying, one I know to be true by the horrible life experiences I have had in the past, that this too shall pass!   Just wishing it would pass sooner than later.  Ok, I'm done whining, feeling sorry for myself, and will end on a positive note with this:


I am truly & unequivocally blessed to wake up in the morning, have my eyesight, my ability to hear, talk, walk, and the opportunity to speak with, and spend time with, my children, grandchildren & friends!  I ask God for forgiveness for my selfishness & my lack of gratitude for what I do have!


Tomorrow morning I plan on waking up to a new day, another one the Lord has made & I WILL REJOICE IN IT!!!!  AMEN...




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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others...

#InnerStrength


Staying Physically & Mentally Healthy During Recent Events!

June 6, 2020

2020 was supposed to be a new start to being both physically & mentally healthier.  Well, I think we can all agree that this didn't happen.  First the Coronavirus and now riots. Going outside our homes has now become dangerous for so many reasons.  


So, how do we stay physically & mentally healthy?  I stopped going to the gym or fitness center many years ago when I figured out I could work out from home even with the least amount of fitness equipment.  I didn't need a step climber, as I have steps.  I didn't need to walk outside because I invested $25 for a $400 Schwinn stationary bike last year at our community's  yard sale. I do push-ups, crunches, lunges, without any equipment, I have 8lb hand weights for biceps, triceps, back & chest, and invested $5 in a yoga mat to do my yoga.  And the best exercise of all is my $1 hula hoop from the dollar store!  After over three months of little contact with the outside world, I am now up to 1,000 rounds of hula hooping. These are all the things I do to keep myself physically fit.


Mentally, I listen to jazz, christian, soothing music rather than the news and social media.  Yoga also helps as well as utilizing my yoga mat for meditation.  I read my devotional each & every day, and watch Above Inspiration on YouTube daily.  I try and eat healthy during the week, and then allow myself to cheat just a little on the weekend.  A small glass of wine before bed doesn't hurt either ;)  


Put less emphasis on what's going on in the world and more emphasis on what you can do personally to keep yourself healthy both physically & mentally.  I guarantee you'll be a much happier person, and you'll find growth in the areas of grace, forgiveness, tolerance & just being an overall better human being, especially during these trying times.


And above all... PRAY!!!!!

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Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others...

#InnerStrength

Choose Your Words Carefully

April 26, 2020

I keep getting emails saying “Final Chance” to purchase whatever from whomever. I know businesses are hurting everywhere, especially small businesses, and my heart and prayers are with them, but let’s put things into perspective here can we.


Final Chance is wanting and hurting so deeply to say in-person goodbye to a loved one who is in the hospital dying from either the Coronavirus or another fatal disease, but unable to so during this Pandemic. Final Chance, is watching a loved one wither away in a nursing home or assisted living, without being able to be by their side to see them to the other side.


Final Chance is knowing that your loved one has died in the line of duty, much like the family, friends and fellow officers of police officer Sgt. Kaia Grant, without the proper burial they would have opted for had it not been for the Coronavirus.


Final Chance is being able to say all the “I’m Sorry’s,” the “I’ll See You Soon’s,” and the “I Love You’s,” to a loved one or a dear friend.


Final Chance is not a tangible or material item, but that precious final chance to let someone know that they meant something, they mattered, they were appreciated, and that they were loved during their lifetime. This, is the meaning of “Final Chance,” not selling your wares during the most unprecedented, sorrowful time, of a lifetime.


Let’s choose to choose our words more carefully as we all maneuver through this haze of loss, not only financially, but more importantly the loss of life.

My Blog

Strong people stand up for themselves,

but stronger people

stand up for others...

#InnerStrength

Giving CPR To A Stranger During Coronavirus

April 21, 2020

Medical experts are talking about the different aspects of what the coronavirus means for all of us, that is with the exception of to do, or not to do, CPR on a stranger who has been stricken by either a heart attack or cardiac arrest.  I know that I would perform it, coronavirus or not, but what about others?


Judging by those shopping during Senior Shopping at a local grocery outlet, I would have to sadly say no.  There was an air of "all for one..themselves" attitude.  It was almost commensurate with a "kill or be killed" attitude in order to get water, toilet paper (which I still don't understand), food, paper towels, sanitizers, latex gloves & masks when available, and everything but a kitchen sink loaded into their cart(s).


It was during one of my Senior Shopping moments, that I wondered, being a 66 year old woman, living with both heart & lung disease, that if I stopped breathing, or my heart suddenly stopped beating, what shoppers would be willing to give me life-saving CPR?  I determined that none of the shoppers I encountered would be willing to risk getting the coronavirus to save my life.  As I previously stated, I would NEVER hesitate to give an individual, known or unknown, CPR until paramedics arrived to take over.  This does in no way make me a hero.. I'd like to think of it as being a human being.


It is my goal to see ALL medical personnel addressing this issue, whether it be during a Presidential, Governor, Mayor press conference, or physicians who have social media accounts in which they could bring this issue to the masses.  Why?  Heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women (including adolescents) over all cancers as well as other leading causes of death i.e. suicide, accidents, homicide.  The stress of this Virus is leading to a monumental number of everyone emotionally & mentally hanging on by a thread, but especially those living with heart disease, and /or any other type of chronic disease.


Unlike Elvis, the coronavirus has not left the building and I expect that it won't anytime in the near future.  We need to be smart about our approach.  Do we continue to take the hard road and live with those constraints already in place and ride out the storm, or do we take the easy road, and go for that instant gratification of we want our lives back now.  Americans, for the most part, especially our millennials, have come to expect the concept of now rather than later.  This is not the time to replace common sense with that of instant gratification.  This is about ALL people, not just ourselves.


On January 20, 1961, at the inauguration of the late President John F. Kennedy no greater sentence was ever uttered than "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  This quote is flawless for these trying times in an unprecedented American tragic occurrence that will live on for decades to come.


We are #StrongerTogether so let's stay home, going out only when necessary, thus respecting the lives of our fellow Americans.


God Bless America...