Save your sanity, time & money!

Need solutions for the medication, medical appliances and/or medical travel that you can't afford? READ EMPOWER Yourself.

A Health Information Management professional, I survived a life-threatening emergency with information that only a person of my professional experience would know. And I’m sharing it!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Here's How YOU Can Help the Parents of a Desperately Ill Child!


8 Iyar 5772

I read the article Parents Make a Bucket List for Their Baby with a Fatal Illness and simply could not go on with a business-as-usual day. I prayed for all of them and decided to ask you to join me.

Judaism teaches that GOD hears every prayer, paying special attention to those for someone else's welfare. Do what you can to ease the heartache of this child and her parents.

A medical crisis - you'd cry too, if it happened to you. Use your tissues and handkerchiefs with my blessings borne of experience. GOD gives you Permission to Weep. And you can say that to any critics after explaining that "It's a Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To." Read all about that on page 5 of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

Buy the E-book or print edition of  EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge to learn how you can help ill people to face the future.

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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Welcome to Haveil Havalim Roundup #357!


7 Iyar 5772

The past week held Yom HaZikaron, Israel's national day of mourning for its soldiers and defenseless innocents murdered by terrorists, followed by the Yom Ha'Atzmaut day of joyous celebration for Israel's national independence. Israel is a home for Jews to cherish. I was so caught up in things that I did not blog much. 

Passover/Pesakh had already been an emotional experience that remains with me until today. During the times when we focus on personal thoughts at the seder, I kept thinking "This an apropos time for Israelis to dismiss the appeasement fantasies of the kneset, the UN's opinion on anything (care to repair life in the Sudan or UAE, hmmm?), and the USA's messed-up take on Middle East life - let alone MSM's."

We'd spent the seder night recalling how only HaShem (GOD for non-Hebrew speakers) saves us time and again, and that politicians plus other meddlers are part of our problems. I'd like every Israeli to end their subscriptions to depressing, con job newspapers, pray harder, do more mitzvot, convince chutznikim to make aliya already (empty promises belie inactions) and to watch H's promises come true (Mashiakh must arrive on the scene when all the world's Jews are in Israel as Commanded). 

Okay, on with the HH Blog Carnival!

Marriage is a mighty controversial word in the Orthodox Jewish world. Well, "marriage crisis" or "singles' crisis" might be better phrases for capturing the scope of the problem. A BIG argument about that debate broke out in The Jewish Press; click this Tyranny of Beauty link to learn about that (it became a BIGGER mess at this link) and on Gila Manolson's wonderful response link.

Here's is Yiddishe Cup's critical contribution to the HH blog carnival today: 1. Shidduch Myth #1 Just because a man doesn't want to go out with you, doesn't mean he's gay. and 2. What Shidduch Crisis? Ladies, we're on to you!

While we're on the topic of truth in advertising, check out Ruth Palatnik's plea to end fraudulent advertising: No Shortcuts 

You can read Dr. Yoel Finkelman's review/critique of a recently published book. It's topic: Masculinity in the Orthodox Jewish milieu. Dr. Finkelman is the author of Strictly Kosher Reading: Popular Literature and the Condition of Contemporary Orthodoxy. See his blog Here's how to buy his impressively on-target book

Leah Zakh Aharoni brings meaningful perspective to America's increasingly common victim mentality: The Ethos of Childhood Trauma.

Ever-interesting commentator Nissan Ratzlav-Katz links to  Israel is a Refuge Under Siege. Here are responses about the brouhaha at The Blogs & Boards R Hopping!

The Shomron Liason and my friend Buddy Macy seek your signature on this Petition to SAVE MIGRON!

Ruti (last name not necessary) melts hearts with 

Read up on Batya Medad's always on-target thoughts at Faux Fatwa Did You Say? and then get a reality check with We All Stand in Silence

Yoel Meltzer's incisive analysis, "The Lessons of the Eisner Affair," is food for intelligent thought.

Rivka Lambert-Adler aka Bat Aliya writes a heartfelt blog. She and it always have thoughtful ideas to share. Read about The Balancing Act and share your thoughts with her. 

Joel Alan Katz shares 


Here's a link important to Israel's political, security and spiritual future: A Petition to Reinstate Lt. Col. Eisner!

Ya'aqov Ben-Yehuda, genius behind the HH Blog Carnival program, provides us with The TOP 10 BEST Reasons to Join the IDF (there's always Sar-L for the rest of us).

For those of us who take Torah and mitzvot seriously, including parshat Kedoshim (in which GOD rules out homosexual activity), let's up our spiritual ante. Am Yisrael is in DEEP doo-doo !

I'm looking forward to the next HH Blog Carnival on May 06 2012 at Ruth Palatnik's Beneath the Wings blog.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity.

Face Your Future with Optimism.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Celebrating Israel's Independence


4 Iyar 5772

In the past 48 hours I've been caught up in Israel's national Day of Mourning/Yom Zikaron for the over 22,000 soldiers and defenseless innocents murdered by terrorists since the late 1800s this week.

Today we celebrate the declaration of 
Israel's Independence.

I traveled early this morning to join Israel Defense Forces soldiers at at army base, with other civilians. We prepared a barbecue. We shared memories, salutes, deep thoughts, jokes, emotional healing and more. Fathers in uniform held their babies, children played soccer, frisbee, and other games.

It's been an emotional week, with much personal and national reflection.

Here I am (in the pink top) with my picnic plate, looking out at my miraculous country and people. 
I hope to post other photos of me on the scene after I upload them from various cameras. Meanwhile, here's a video describing the miracles of the Jewish people and our homeland to enjoy:

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Embracing Your Emotional, Physical, Spiritual and Mental Health


2 Iyar 5772

Iyar is a month with a powerful message on the Jewish calendar. It's letters spell an acronym in Hebrew: I am GOD your Healer.

then let me know your thoughts about it.

A medical crisis - you'd cry too, if it happened to you. Use your tissues and handkerchiefs with my blessings borne of experience. GOD gives you Permission to Weep. And you can say that to any critics after explaining that "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To." See the heavenly license to cry, and to cope with illness, disability and sadness, on page 5 of 

Buy the E-book or print edition today for a brighter future: Click

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Haveil Havalim Blogpost Carnival is Coming Here Soon!


1 Iyar 5772

Readers, I have a dynamic E-mail correspondence going on behind the scenes with some of you. I'm delighted with the diversity of the readership here. It's a privilege to be helping and interacting with people I'd never otherwise "meet"! The fun and wonder will grow on April 29 as I hostess what's called the "Haveil Havalim" blogpost carnival.

Various bloggers from around the world will be sharing their links with me in the next few days. I'll post selected entries that serve public interests and purposes on April 29th. No snarky remarks from contributors, please. Share something thoughtful, innovative, educational, helpful, or soothing to serve public interests. Send your URL to

Here's a quick FYI if you're wondering what Haveil Havalim means in English: Vanity of vanities. It's a catch-phrase repeated in Ecclesiastes (kohelet in Hebrew), the famous passage written by King Solomon. We learn in it to focus on spiritual meaning, to rise above our present limitations (moral, physical, emotional, intellectual, etc.).  Why? Selfishness is not destined for eternal value.

Looking forward to April 29th!

Buy the E-book or print edition to EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge so you rise above your health-related limitations as much as possible. 

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Get the Right Crutches You Need


30 Nisan 5772

Fractures HURT and so do the wrong crutches. Here's an FYI from a medical professional who contributed to today's blogpost:

"Please be aware that crutches must be the correct measurements for YOUR measurements! And you must use them correctly or you may cause yourself injury. Here is just 1 link to info on the measurements you need for your crutches as well as links to their proper use. I see too many people with obviously incorrect crutch lengths! So if/when you get the crutches, go there armed [no pun intended] with a measuring tape and your own necessary measurements.

Rochelle Eissenstat, MD

Buy the E-book or print edition of  EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge to learn how to speed up your healing process from that fracture. Even how to quickly overcome RSD/CRPS! Click on 

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Need Can-Do Pain Management without Drugs? This Patient and Her Doctors Know What to Do!


27 Nisan 5772

Here's an informative bit of pain management news for Becker's ASC Review and beyond: Surgeons preparing to do corrective surgery on my feet were astounded to learn that I had not been taking any pain killers for the deformity currently messing up my walking abilities. How astounded? The head of the department asked me if I was afraid to reveal how much medication I take, as the situation was affecting my ability to even stand, run or walk! He informed me that most people find the situation unbearably painful.

I assured the doctors that 
the pain management tips shared in

have served me well. I literally ate the foods or took the vitamins listed there. They minimized or canceled the pain altogether. The only reason I'd sought the surgical consult is because time and the repeated use of my feet and legs have worn down some of the parts. That caused an awkward gait. I need to walk with greater stability. So, I'm going to have corrective out-patient foot surgery in the foreseeable future.

Pain management specialists, anesthesiologists and nurses can learn quite a bit from the book. So can the average reader. The first time I'd had surgery for the situation was almost a drug-free experience. I simply meditated as the surgeon rearranged the bones and muscles for me. I only needed pain killers to a small degree, near the end. That surprised the staff supporting me.

Imagine what those 
pain management tips 
can do for you 
when you don't need 
corrective surgery!

Want your healthcare practice or personal life to be so simple - and affordable? Buy EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge TODAY. Now more doctors recommend it.

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Have a FUN Time on Your Way to Better Health!


24 Nisan 5772

Getting better is boring. 
Pages 21-23 address that reality 
and how to overcome it in 

Fun does not have age limits, as you'll see in this Dancing in Dulles video. Get your boogey on. Sing, dance, indulge in some realistic for you sports, whatever it takes. The trick is to do what appeals to you and lifts your spirits - maybe those of people sharing the fun with you, too. There's plenty of healing power in pleasure.

Want to lose the too-thick middle-aged midriff while you're at it? I have two terrific tips to share with you on this blog. Just ask me for them by leaving a comment below, with your name and photo so I'll sort of know with whom I'm communicating.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge for an uplifting look at your medical life or disability.

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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eat Your Way to Pain Relief!


23 Nisan 5772

Many of my real life and cyber acquaintances are in physical pain due to accidents and/or to eating nutrition-challenged "foods" for Easter (candy only looks cute in the box, not in your gut) and Passover (too often overloaded with sugar and eggs, let alone matza). It's a memorable lesson in the harm that sugar and dietary excess can cause to human bodies.

Here are some helpful and quite economical tips from the "Coping with Pain" section of

I was in a freak accident in which my left elbow and ulna (a long, slim bone in the forearm) were broken in multiple locations. I’d been left-handed lifelong.

My disability was significant and my level of pain due to the complicated fracture was too awful to describe here. I took powerful painkillers that only removed a bit of the mega-wattage agony. Doctors in the hospital eventually gave me morphine so I could endure arm-saving surgery.

Physical therapy was a matter of raw courage. I wept through several sessions, struggling to restore the use of my hand, forearm and upper arm. I stopped taking narcotic painkillers over time, fearful of addiction problems from prolonged use.

Then I gradually put together an all-natural pain-reducing plan that worked.

Here’s some potentially helpful information for anyone healing from a bone fracture as I did, or for anyone interested in protecting their bone health.

I minimized the pain by:

·         Using my Personal Pain-o-Meter (explained a few paragraphs below)
·         Listening to soothing music
·         Sitting in cheer-me-up sunshine (which provides Vitamin D for strong teeth and bones) with and without friends
·         Basing part of my grocery list on advice from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Foods That Fight Pain book. I bought it after interviewing Dr. Barnard about some of his innovative health-promoting techniques several years ago (I’m still a health writer/journalist for hire, folks).

Shop as I do and you just might feel better after buying from the organic green-grocer and health food store:

Almonds with Raisins (really!)
Beans (soak them for a day, changing water 2-3 times so you won’t develop belly bloat)
Capsaicin Cream (a natural remedy made of chili pepper extracts!)
Fresh and powdered Ginger Root
Fresh Figs and/or Fig Jelly
Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin B6 (50-150 mg)
Vitamin E 400 IU

I ate the foods in abundance and took the vitamins once daily.

These old standbys also helped me:

·         Arnica Montana (a natural remedy that resembles tiny white pills)
·         Cuprum Metallicum (a natural remedy that also resembles tiny white pills)
·         Rescue Remedy Cream
·         Rescue Bach Remedy Drops
·         Any bar of soap at all. I have no idea why this folk remedy works, but after I place a bar of soap under a sweatshirt sleeve, under sheets, or upon some other area of sore muscles, the pain reduces noticeably.

Here are some sites that Dr. Barnard’s office recommends: and  

Be sure to visit for more information about the role of nutrition in a variety of diseases and conditions.

Oh – if you or the person you're caring for can't swallow pills, here are some possible solutions to the problem:

Crush the pills. Place them in a plastic sandwich bag and step on them if you lack a pill crushing appliance. Then mix the bits with applesauce. Be sure to shake all the powder into the applesauce, too.
Warm liquid jell-o is another alternative. Pudding works. So does pleasant-tasting yogurt. The idea is to provide a slippery, pleasant-tasting food in the mouth so that the medication will go into the tummy with it. The pleasant taste prevents gag reflex problems. The slippery textures make the swallowing much easier despite the fear of swallowing the pills. And children will be eager for more dessert at medication time. Be sure to remind them that the medicine is not dessert, the pudding, applesauce, jell-o or yogurt perform that yummy job.

Do you suffer from leg cramps that wake you during the night? I sympathize. Here are my suggestions for preventing them:


1.  DRINK WATER - dehydration can play a part in leg cramps.

2.  Stretch your calves during the day and night, especially before bed.

3.  Riding a bicycle is one of the best preventatives, but a stationary bicycle a few minutes in the evening can help, too.

4. Keep your blankets and sheets loose at the foot of the bed to prevent your toes from pointing downward as you sleep.

5. Prolonged sitting, poor or abnormal posture or inefficient biomechanics (possibly related to poor flexibility) may cause leg cramping. Compensate as best you can.

6.  Do the "Seaweed Soak": eating seaweed and drinking seaweed previously soaked in water before a meal. Eat, juice or blend good amounts of green leafy vegetables (parsley, squash, Swiss chard, etc.) and carrots, etc. Munch on sesame seeds and even add them to nut milks (e.g., almond milk). These foods hold tremendous amounts of magnesium, calcium, etc.  which are very important for muscle comfort and function. You can learn about juicing and making nut milks in books or online.

7. Mix 1 teaspoon organic honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Drink it once daily to prevent muscle cramps.

Certain leg stretching exercises can also help.

1. Stand 30 inches from the wall.
2. While keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward, put your hands on the wall, and slowly move your hands up the wall as far as you can reach comfortably.
3. Hold the stretched position for 30 seconds. Release.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 two more times.
5. For best results, practice this exercise in the morning, before
your evening meal, and before going to bed each night.

Let's shift focus now, to Mind over Matter. Want to know how a Personal Pain-o-Meter works?

My recovery from that severely broken arm (doctors had to install a permanent metal brace under the skin, along my bones, in order to save the arm) had been challenging, to put it politely. I'd wept from awful, awful pain that major painkillers (including morphine) hardly affected. But I learned to cope with the agony by reducing it at will. Now I'm ready to share that technique with you.

Want relief from the physical pain of your medical condition? Try this nifty trick. Turn down the dial on your Personal Pain-o-Meter, a terrific technique that friend/Life Coach Ben Goldfarb taught me. Pain that does not serve a function is pain we can banish at will.

Go on. Create a dial in your mind. Study it. Say the level of your pain out loud: "On a scale from one to ten, ten being the worst level of pain, I have a pain level of... (fill in the blank with a number from 1-10)," then say this out loud, "I can lower my pain. I'm lowering it to (name the ever-lower wattage at each new pain-lowering session)..."

Then do it. Imagine the arrow on your Personal Pain-o-Meter dialing downward. Push it down with your mind. Choose to reduce your pain. Aim for less than half your present pain level.

Try again until you make progress. Yes, I know it's difficult. I do this exercise, too. My physical therapy workouts were not pleasant. C'mon. Try it again.

You can set aside time as often as needed to work at aiming that arrow increasingly down. You'll know you've succeeded when you realize that your discomfort feels significantly less than it felt earlier. Keep spinning that arrow down until your pain is as low as possible.

Ta-daaa, this is your one-step solution for pain reduction:


Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge  for more feel-better ideas you can afford!

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Beat the High Cost of Medical Care with a Smile!


20 Nisan 5772

Reuters and the International Monetary Fund have scary medical news today: The Cost of Aging is Rising Faster than Expected!

You can minimize your stress and 
lower your medical costs with

The first part of the book lets you know how to stay organized despite blizzards of paperwork, piles of  business cards for doctors and treatment sites, pressing appointment schedules and the need to pack for hospital stays. It even includes tips for keeping or recovering your sense of humor despite all the pressure.

The second part of the book, the Global Resources section, clues you in to worldwide organizations willing to pay part of all of your medical costs and then some!

Protect your mind and your bottom line with the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reversing a Prognosis with Optimism and...


19 Nisan 5772

A happy-go-lucky woman in Israel wakes up blind in 2005. She soon learns in an emergency room that she is dying. Then she has emergency brain surgery and loses the benign brain tumor that had blinded her and almost ended her ability to breathe.

One year later in 2006, medical experts inform the weak, thin woman that she will never see again. And here she is in 2012, typing this blogpost to you - after she wrote a book to help ill and disabled people around the world!

Medical and mental health professionals recommend  It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge and praise it on the cover. 

It is the story of how I benefited from various forms of wisdom in the western and natural healing worlds. I now have doctor-certified bones and muscles to rival those of a woman HALF my age. The prescription for my eyewear has fallen 16 - yes 16 - times in 6 years. Every aspect of my former vision problems is lessening over time.

My physical health is improving in other ways, too. As for my emotional/mental health, well, there's a reason that I was invited to address a conference of mental health professionals - and why so many recommend that you read

There are plenty of reasons that I chose the motto for this blog to be

Face your medical problems with dignity.
Face your future with optimism.

Let me know which page of the book convinces you that an improved and protected sense of dignity plus ever-better optimism help ill people to cope with medical, mental health and disability challenges.

The bonus is that, as you read, you'll learn how to improve your health - or someone else's - while saving money worldwide: Results, safety, and health in one E-book or print edition.

Buy EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge today!

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CST and Me: What it Can Do for You!


18 Nisan 5772

Back on April 5 I alerted you to the chance for meeting one of my healing helpers, the craniosacral therapist who restored the use of my surgically paralyzed eyelid. The corresponding nerve had been affected by the now-gone meningioma, and life-saving surgery to remove it.

Here's how that CST introduces me to readers in EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge:


It was 5765/2005, a week before the Passover holiday. I was busy installing a new kitchen. While I attended the mundane my dear friend Yocheved Golani, whom I would actually meet a year later, developed a sudden case of blindness.

Alone in Hadassah Ein Kerem's emergency room, Yocheved discovered a terrible reality that would dictate the course of the next few years of her life. She had a brain tumor growing on top of the section in the brain that controls breathing and heartbeat. What's more the tumor nestled in a bed of nerves that control movement to the right side of the body, facial sensation, hearing, neck movement and vision.

Yocheved was at risk for permanent deafness, blindness, paralysis, and dying a slow painful death of asphyxiation that could not be stopped by medical professionals. She had little time left for successful rescue efforts.

It was not the worst news that Yocheved learned that day.

The part that nearly devastated her was finding out that the tumor had been identified eighteen months earlier, but never revealed to her. She had lost a critical window of opportunity to remove the tumor safely and completely with user-friendly Gamma Knife Radiation when the tumor had been quite small and relatively harmless. It would have involved one doctor appointment as an outpatient in the hospital. It would have cured her in an hour. At this point in time, it was too late to use Gamma Knife successfully. Yocheved needed surgical removal of the tumor.

Two prominent neurosurgeons refused to operate on Yocheved at this late date for fear that they would kill her by merely trying to remove the now enlarged growth. A miraculous event led Yocheved to the surgeon who agreed to try to save both her life and its quality. But, he cautioned, substantial risks would present themselves throughout the effort to save her. The doctor offered no guarantees, only his world-famous surgical skill and his experienced hands. Yocheved decided to take the chance. "GOD commands us to choose life. I refused to turn away the one opportunity I had for saving my life. I gave the doctor and myself the possibility to succeed. I agreed to let him operate on me."

Yocheved resolved to live past this crisis, and she did. Beating the odds for survival over the tumor that was slowly killing her, and the odds regarding devastating potential consequences from the dangerous surgery awaiting her, Yocheved clung to core beliefs.

She also developed some new emotional and spiritual muscles in order to remain alive and to recover from the effects of her medical condition. "I also needed to put everyone around me at ease so that we could work as a team to make me well," Yocheved explains.

This workbook is designed to help you to cope with a medical challenge, perhaps a medical crisis. It is based on actions that Yocheved took, ideas she embraced, and emotions that saved her life. Her new updated version gives you even more resources to use in this process.

You can adapt Yocheved's coping mechanisms to your life so that you too can face a medical crisis with dignity, skills that can improve your mental and physical health, and as much healing as HaShem (GOD) will bring to you.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Andrea Kornfeld, LMT, C-CST

Craniosacral therapy did far more for my overall health than to restore the use of my formerly paralyzed eyelid. Chana Bracha and I hope to see you in the audience tomorrow night, where you can hear about that, and how CST can help you.

Ready to read about other forms of standard and alternative/complementary healing techniques that help people around the world? Buy E-book or print edition EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

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