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!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Blending Happiness with Resolutions: I'll DRINK to That!


15 Tevet, 5773

I've refrained from posting this week as I doubted anyone wending their way through clogged roads and airports would be thinking much about health issues. The still-fresh sadness of the Newtown massacre and other troubling developments also tempered my sense of mass public "joy."

It has not been a time to share 
commercial messages 
about buying the 


BUT... Now the New Year season 
will change the calendar. 

I find it problematic.

It's the traditional time for thinking 
and acting 
on ways to improve yourself.

But NONE of those New Year's parties 
you want to attend
are about focusing on your better self.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

So, I'm breaking my online silence today to ask that you re-think your New Year's resolutions for making yourself over into a better person. 

If you plan to spend time and effort at parties focused on people making themselves gluttons, drunk, foolish and a public danger, you've sabotaged yourself from the get-go. 

Think of that diet you already need to obey, and how far you'll need to go to walk off New Year's party calories!

Consider the wisdom of spending time nurturing the love of family members and friends instead of being silly

  • Do someone a favor. 

  • Clean up that desk or room you keep avoiding. 

  • Tackle some task that needs doing.

You'll look a lot better when you peek into the mirror Tuesday morning.

You can toast your better self with a non-alcoholic beverage to keep the momentum going.

I'll drink to that with a mug of genuine hot cocoa.

Sick? Sad? Disabled? Need help to stick with your self-improvement plans? Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

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

Lose your limits for self-improvement.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Medical Prescription: BIG Dose of Laughter!


7 Tevet, 5773

OY. The friend I mentioned the other day is still running a bureaucratic gauntlet in the medical world. She discussed it in a Facebook forum. I turned her sense of frustration on its head by making the mess into a basis for a sitcom (a situation comedy television show, for those of you not familiar with American slang).

I indulged all of us in a BIG dose of humor in that
Facebook forum. Respondents "LIKED" it! I'm sure you can identify with the joke:

Title for the show: Medical Files. IZREELTV's newest offering, a zany look at the rollercoaster of Israel's socialized medical world (an HMO system - in Hebrew!), the unadjusted olim (immigrants) shocked to pieces by it as they try to maneuver the klita/absorption process and the need to lower their ever-rising blood pressure while fatalist tzabarim (natives) murmur "Ain li moosag. Yihye tov habibi. Eh, refua shlaima b'emet (I'm clueless, too, but I bless you to get better fast)." Guest spots by famous doctors, grumpy medical professionals (sorry for being redundant), clueless administrators and a cast of characters including Bituach Leumi (social security) officials who misunderstand the law let alone human interaction dynamics! Yocheved Golani narrates the show as she offers tips on how to cope with it all and keep your giggle on. Cameos by officials and medical staff who display enormous compassion, competence and a touch of the miraculous in what they do. 

Please patronize our sponsor GOD. Say your prayers and hang on to your bedrails. We're zooming you through to spiritual healing if not better physical health.

OK, we're off Facebook now.

Care to get your giggle on despite 
all the bureaucratic messes
in your medical life?


It's full of funny stuff.
Share it with your medical team. 
They need to smile, too.

Buy the E-book or print edition today for a brighter holiday season: Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge. 

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

Learn how to laugh again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hurry and Wait- in a Medical Setting?


5 Tevet, 5773

I hope you'll appreciate that I choose to let the survivors of the Sandy Hook School massacre do their grieving privately. I prefer not to post news photos of bereft people nor debates about gun control laws here. People deserve and need respect for their private lives. They do not owe us invasions into their personal lives.

Today I'm going to address normative life and how to deal with some of its headaches. Take a breath, sip a tea if you wish, and let's read on together.


No matter where you live in the world, there seems to be one thing that the military and the medical world have in common: The "Hurry up and Wait" scenario. It can be quite upsetting.

A friend recently remarked online "EXHAUSTED! I just spent the entire day at [name of the hospital]. Saw the nurse. Then the anesthesiologist. Then a doctor. Then the nurse again. And in between I waited...and waited...and waited. Managed all conversations in Hebrew with a humongous amount of effort and focus and active listening. It is EXHAUSTING. Got home, and threw together a 3 bean meat chili. It is now on the stove, simmering. OY!"

I responded to her message with "Sounds like the military's 'Hurry up and wait' scenario. The emotional toll on patients is significant. I'm sorry that the medical world doesn't address it. I'd like to see informative videos in the seating/waiting area. I used to volunteer with other people in a chemo ward, providing amusement in the form of conversations, magazines, crafts, board games, music and more. Pity that this is so rare. I hope your sense of humor will let you know how to prepare for round 2. Bring some paper books and/or book and music CDs along for the trip."

It's definitely a downer to sit in a medical site wondering what will happen next and what could possibly speed along progress as you feel your blood pressure rising the whole time. And if anger doesn't mess up your mind, boredom sure can!

suggests several ways you can lower your anger and your boredom, too. Here are excerpts about it:

... Skeptical that you can feel happy? Consider this reality. I've mentioned babies a few times in my text. The reason is this: we are born cheerful. We feel secure, interested in our lives and surroundings. We eventually realize that our thoughts and actions are effective. Happiness is our natural state. It is when other people or circumstances hurt us and we make mistaken conclusions or choose to hold grudges that we fill up, maybe overflow with, feelings of insecurity, boredom, irrelevance, and/or depression. The solution is intellectual and emotional. We need to choose to our focus, to stay with it, and to develop the tenacity to return to states of gratitude, acceptance, and happiness. GOD gave us the tools so it could happen. We have the ability to control how we think and feel!

Here's your homework assignment... Set priorities. You're the first priority... in regard to your... health...

Excerpt 2:

Worry doesn't banish troubles; it destroys inner strength!

I realized that I needed to figure out how to live until the tumor was taken out of me, and how to live with the after-effects of surgery. At best, I was in for some exhaustion, physical weakness, and pain. At worst, therapists in a rehabilitation facility would teach me how to live with physical or intellectual deficits.

At times I had to pretend I was in a positive mood. I was so depressed I thought I would die of heartache. So I took upbeat action to restore my stressed-out mind. I also kept in mind those who wanted me to survive.

In Hebrew (I am an Israeli) we say Acharei Hapeulot Nimshachim Halevavot. Our hearts are drawn after our actions. We tend to think we need to first feel and understand something and then our behavior will change. The Torah tells us that this is not true. At Mount Sinai, the Jewish Nation declared "Naaseh V’Nishma" - we will do and we will understand. The Torah is all about actions because HaShem (GOD) knows that the best way for us to change our feelings is to change our behavior. This is true of all humanity. So if you are not in a good mood and you want to be in one - Go right ahead and FAKE IT!

When you feel up to looking at your departed depression, or need to shuck it off your mind again with a new perspective, here's a light-hearted thought: Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

Remember what I shared with you about moods? Emotions rise and fall like ocean waves. They have a life of their own. It takes practice to gain and to keep control of our inner turmoil."

Okay, I hope you're in a better frame of mind now. If you want to laugh at the frustrations of being in volved with the medical world a bit, and to put more of your priorities in order, click on The Doctor Will Scare You Now

Buy the E-book or print edition today for a better look at your medical life! Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

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

Get your grin back, too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tending to Broken Hearts with Love, Respect and Good Sense


3 Tevet, 5773     

I lack adequate words to describe my reaction, or the wider world's, to the mass murder of the children in
Connecticut, USA. Those words are in the hearts of everyone who died in, or survived, the massacre.

From a mental health perspective, everyone dealing with children who survived the scene and dealing with children who know of it, needs to be aware of several facts that can promote emotional and spiritual recovery from the horror:

  • Little ones will likely regress, losing their most recently acquired skills (this includes toilet training, knowing the alphabet, the ability to dress oneself, games, songs, names of important people places and things). DO NOT CRITICIZE the child or fuss over the issue. The regression is the child's expression of grief, a way of saying "I lack coping skills for this bigger-than-life event in my young mind. Embrace me with unconditional love and acceptance. I need to be soothed before I can go on with my life."

  • Nightmares will become the new normal at bedtime and at nap time. Reliving the attack and imagining other attacks will fill daytime activities, usually at the worst possible moment. This is an expression of supreme fear,  worsened by the impact of every child's worst nightmare having come true about 30 times in one hour. Adults died trying to protect the children, the worst possible scenario in this bloodbath of defenseless innocents.

  • Adults and children involved in any manner with the onslaught will need to weep, to tremble and to retreat from social involvement at unexpected, unpredictable intervals. The abnormal response to this or any completely abnormal event is inevitable, and oddly enough, part of the healing process. The mind and body are communicating to the wider world that the adult or child experiencing these symptoms is showing signs of processing the events and the grief into thoughts they can handle in the future. It is a future they are trying to create. The sufferers must come to terms with agony. LET THEM. Help them in constructive ways.

  • Spiritual questions about GOD and why GOD allowed this attack to happen will be asked. Do not try to inhibit the children - or adults - asking them. Do not worsen their lot by stating simplistic cliches that answer nothing and are designed to make people shut up so they'll suffer in private. 

  • Praise the children and adults speaking up, bless them with hugs, love and conversation. Admit your own sadness and fear to them. Share the humanity of it all. Access mental health professionals and clergy skilled at dealing with grief, children, plus spiritual growth. Use techniques proven to help at troubling times.

  • Consult with grief counselors and other certified mental health professionals who treat children and adults with complete respect

  • Children handle grief by mimicking what they see in the adults around them, and by imagining outcomes plus behaviors. They practice all that in their playtime. Their thoughts and emotions help them to reconstruct their naive, shattered lives. They are working to build a sense of hope and the sense of a pleasant, sane future. Let them, and help them in constructive ways. 

  • The mental health profession needs to come to grips with the fact that people who commit crimes at this level of violence are identifiable much earlier. Their tell-tale symptoms tend to fit known patterns. BUT... nobody can accurately predict when or how the mentally unstable person will strike. That they will strike is a known danger, a given. Put your minds together with other mental health experts and do your best to work with reliable profiles and the law enforcement world's preventatives

  • The legal profession, judges included, need to become sophisticated enough to better handle child custody issues. Manipulative parents can use such destructive events to hurt bereft, distraught progeny desperately in need of stability and their protective, more sensible family members. Lawsuits demanding more or otherwise harmful visitation tend to ensue during times of emotional upheaval, and counter-suits by protective parents follow. Lawyers and judges know the drill: Egos fill the court room. 

Only one ego matters and that is the child's. The judiciary has a moral imperative to work hand-in-hand with mental health professionals to prevent further abuse (by bickering parents, one of whom is likely a manipulator and the other overwhelmed by those machinations) of young, naive psyches lacking  defense mechanisms.

  • ANYONE who cries at expected an unexpected intervals in the foreseeable future needs to do so. Let them. It is a simultaneous call for help and a sign of healing in progress.

Shushing the cries for emotional relief is cruel and counterproductive. Everyone involved needs counseling to best finesse the situation. 

You'd cry too, if it happened to you. Use your tissues and handkerchiefs with my blessings. 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."
Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Greatness is How You Choose to Respond


29 Kislev, 5773

Thanks to the United with Israel and Thank Israeli Soldiers organizations, I spent time sharing Hanuka donuts with Israeli soldiers last night, near the Gaza border.

Many Israeli civilians joined in the fun of saluting the heroes who protect our lives.

People in the crowd discussed heroism, what it is, and how to be a hero. A couple seated near me mentioned a serious medical matter to me after realizing I'm the author of

The  book holds soothing ideas about recognizing your inner strengths, how to nurture them, and how to be your own hero or someone else's.

As you wait for your copy of the book to arrive (order it here), consider this.

Courtesy of

Christian lay-clergyman Carl Philips praised EMPOWER Yourself for its spirituality. Buy the E-book or print edition today for a brighter holiday season if you celebrate Hanuka or Xmas. Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

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

Grow beyond your expectations. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When Your Voice Comes Together, Your LIFE Comes Together!


28 Kislev, 5773

Here I am, interrupting my week of fun to cheerfully let you know of a marvelous means to healing your life, perhaps your singing career.

My friend Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman is listed in The Worldwide Who's Who for her ground-breaking method at training singers. One of Miriam's maxims is that "When your voice comes together, your LIFE comes together."

Check out her sites, Voice Institute and Music Visions

Miriam posted a recent message on Facebook and permits me to share it here. Read it for your improved health even if all you want to do is to sing in the shower (keep reading for a surprise ending to this blogpost!):

  • I am sure you all remember the article I wrote after the tremendous loss of Whitney Houton - here is some true confirmation of Brandy on the subject, up close and personal. What of paramount concern is that the same people who are responsible for her vocal demise are out there and doing to other singers over and over again --- their teaching, their philosphies on singing, their methodologies are responsible for the constant loss and destruction of voices - no need to mention the stars that go to them and are on vocal rest, are taking off to have babies, have built in larynx , etc. lets not talk about the steroids, injections etc. These "Vocal Great" who charge a fortune for their 'work' - WHEN SHE GOT INTO TROUBLE - long before she died, WHERE WERE THEY when her voice began failing??? WHO WAS THERE TO HELP HER of all those GREATS who are nothing more than a glorifacion of their own fallen stardom. I am sick of students being ruined, coming to me in desperation - beautiful voices that have vocal cord nodules, stress, hematomas on their cords, endless ---where are the EXPERTS whom she could have and did pay any amount to get her voice back????? The people who made money off her on the way up??? who used and abused her vocally??? no one wants to take responsibility not for her vocal demise - which is the real truth for her untimely death, nor for those fantastic voice which have such short lived careers because of the vocal practices they are taught. I had a student write to me that his voice teacher at BERKLEY COLLEGE OF MUSIC has herself vocal cord nodules....WAKE UP WORLD- this is not an advertisement for certain, HERE IS A VIABLE AND REAL OPTION TO MAKE A CHANGE, NOW AND IN A BIG WAY!!


Here's a surprise ending to my post for today: Miriam's tutelage this past November resulted in improvements with my vision! 

I recommend her work highly.

Buy the E-book or print edition today for a brighter holiday season: Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Focused on FUN!


27 Kislev, 5773

Headlines can give person heart palpitations, considering the scary news about this or that. This week I'm nurturing my heart with happiness. I'm sharing good times with friends. The memories we're making can pull all of us into a future with smiles across our faces.

Unless some noteworthy news or health item tweaks my attention span in the next few days, I'm signing off for the rest of the week with this message:

has sold out at all my recent speaking engagements. It's also available online as an E-book or print edition. 

Light up someone's heavy heart and thoughts, or your own, with a copy hot off the press. 

Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

Less stress and keep your cash, that’s the theme of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge. It teaches you how to organize your medical and/or disability lives, how to save money on your medical needs and how to get your grin back in one reading - all around the world.

Face Your Medical, Mental Health and/or Disability Problems with Dignity. 

Face Your Future with Optimism.


Monday, December 10, 2012

A Look at Real Life


26 Kislev, 5773

My trip to Netivot and Sderot happened as you were reading this blog yesterday. You know those cities. They appear in news headlines. The media reports on how the evil Israelis there are bombed by peace partners who hate us Jews (calling us "Zionists" or "Settlers" is just code for "Jews"). Just Saying, as my friend and fellow lunch participant Reesa Cohen Stone notes.

I spent time in the company of deeply spiritual women involved in charitable endeavors of many types. One of my friends who lives in this part of the country, Devorah Horev, took some of these pictures.

We are friends who come from all parts of Israel and the wider world. Our histories are diverse (we span the age spectrum, too), our friendships phenomenal.
We exchanged plant cuttings, shared personal news of joy and made jokes with each other. The woman in the purple head scarf sold lovely hand-made jewelry to support a charitable endeavor run by the woman in the brown turban sitting next to her!

As we ladies chatted, friends of mine who run a yeshiva back in my town released a heartwarming video. It's dedicated to the people of the town where these pictures were taken, and to the soldiers who protect them.

It all comes from GOD. You can hear that in the music... 

Hanuka/Chanuka is a time of spiritual enlightenment. Ever heard of Matityahu (not the singer, the man he's named for)? Rest your mind and heart from their worries and distractions. Let the holiness of the holiday inside. 

Look at life as it really is, not as someone with a nasty agenda told you to think it is.

Look at these pictures and imagine us sitting or walking about a town with bomb shelters for bus stops, and shopping malls with bomb shelters every few stores. See this one, at the edge of a parking lot? 

Here's how much room it has. 

There was just enough room from my friend Batya Medad to squish inside and take this photo.

The people in these pictures, as do most Israelis, have peaceful natures. But the lies that we are monstrous have deceived so many gullible people. 

Reporters just won't have stories to sell if they report on nice people, hmmm????

Listen to that music. Look at these pictures. Not a trace of hatred or bloodlust anywhere. They're not part of Judaism.

Listen to your heart. Leave the lies in the newsstand and ignore the news sites.

Sorry you ever believed or shared the lies about Israel and her Jews? Sorry about something else you've done? Life's not over. It's a Do-Over! 


Once again, my supply of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge books sold out at an event.

Women who'd already read it spoke of how the book soothes them and provides answers to questions nobody else in the medical world answers for you.

Troubled by medical, mental health or disability problems at an otherwise cheerful time of year? Buy an E-book or print edition today for a brighter look at the holiday season and beyond. Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

HH-appy Hanuka!


25 Kislev, 5773

Today this blog and I are hosting the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival. Check the date! It's another kind of auspicious day, too.

25 Kislev's a colorful event on 
Jewish calendars:    
The first night and day of

  חֲנֻכָּה   חנכה
 and sometimes spelled חנוכה

The first candle was lit last night.

The holiday comes close to the end of the Kislev month, days before the new month of Tevet begins. Batya Medad addresses the timely situation in her blogpost, aka an invitation for celebration, The Moon is shrinking Again... 

Paula Stern's always sensible Point of View addresses To Palestine from Israel

Paula's having More thoughts on Stuck.

Let's light up more brain cells with Paula's illuminating explanation of the History of E1.

Batya Medad's interview with a foreign journalist makes you wonder "Which half of the word GOD doesn't MSM understand?" Read all about it in Jewish Right to the Land of Israel, Historic Perspective.

Now for a 10-shek look at Pseudonistan: A Pseudonymous State!

Tomer Devora Thinks About a LOT.

Keep reading.

Lorelai, the fun and spiritual owner/ operator of Radio Free Nachlaot gives us musical poetry with Morning in Jerusalem.

Marina Shemesh sends you a colorful Bat Galim postcard from home.

Rachel Moore does Mommyhood right, riding the Perfect Wave.   

Considering worldwide insults to the Light Upon the Nations (aka the Jewish People), our ancestral homeland and beloved capital city, Batya Medad’s Political Tit for Tat Plan gets my vote and probably yours, too. 

(Yocheved opining here: I'm still hoping the UN building falls in the Hudson. I wonder if my Hanuka wishes will come true this year. Sorry fishies, you hardly deserve the insult. But the Hudson's muck and the UN's occupants do).

OK, OKAY, here's the correct Peh-appropriate sivivon, sharp-eyed readers (the miracle of Chanuka indeed happened here in the Holy Land, po!). 
History lesson coming up: Who saves Am Yisrael time and again and gets little press for it? WOMEN! Read The Heroines of Hanuka.

Listen in to Rav David Bar-Chayim address (in English) The Gaza War: Why Were Rabbis Silent?

Ever hear of the Aliya Tip Sheet I once produced? Colorful coupon-loaded thing packed with info the average aliya shaliakh would never tell to potential olim (why scare them more than necessary?). 

It held this line "Go before you leave, and carry fresh paks of tissues plus hand sanitizer with you. Israel's public restrooms are too few and very far between. Sanitary conditions therein tend to be iffy, considering the international travel going on around here." 

OKAY, now you're in the mood for the Bus Stop Pisher's Guide to Jerusalem (heck of an intro I gave you, eh, Batya Medad?).

Getting philosophical, here, I alert you to a GREAT Chanuka-related site by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, and two spiritual alerts:


Click the cute menorah to learn The History of the Menorah's Oil.

2) At this point in history of Tikun Olam
we're at the point of Yesod
the spiritual feet of the sefirot 
connected to creation. 

Yesod is about relationships. 
Considering the decades-long 
singles crisis (and too many messed-up
relationships for anyone to count), 
plus its multifaceted dimensions, 
let's zero in on Aviva Blumstein's look at 

Here's a conversation-starter from Yitzchak Sprung: Lemony Snicket and the Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming

If you know the saying "2 Jews 3 opinions" and ever sat in on a Torah-studies class, you'll appreciate the debates that I'm sure will break out after reading Do Dreams Matter? (share your thoughts with Yitzchak, not me. I'm just the messenger)

What do you think of Rabbi YY's suspicion that Dreams Could be the DVD of Your Life?

Hey! Ever thought of Bend it Like Beckham for Israeli FOOTBALL? (psst - keep the soccer ball off the field UKers. Yalla! We're talkin' Uh-merican football)

You're having a thoughtful Hanuka, huh? Have some fun when you click on this Techno-lit Hanukia.

I'm waiting to see if Syria's chemical weapons stockpile 
blows up all over that country and its Iranian supporters. 
I wonder if the Techno-kids have an app for that... 
or if anybody can count as high as the number of Syrians already dead at the hands of their fellow citizens...

The UN has never condemned that, 
to my knowledge.

Jerusalem's envoy to Vienna proves in an

offhanded way that, frankly, 
Syria's Assad doesn't give a damn 
about morality.

Next time someone impugns "The Jews" 

share this message with them
Jews Have Healthy Hanuka (and yearlong) SHINE!

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. GOD knows we need it!

ATTENTION BOOK PUBLISHERS: I'd sent the manuscript for The Comfort Foods Cookbook: Recipes to Calm You Down FAST Without Widening Your Waistline to Dr. Daniel Eisenberg who'd endorsed the EMPOWER Yourself book. I asked for his approbation once again. I received this delightful reply from his wife Janet: 

"Yocheved your chatty style is 
packed with information and 
a pleasure to read. I truly felt you 
cheer leading from my corner! 
A motivated dieter/lifestyle changer 
will enjoy your writing and all that 
you have to offer. It feels like 
you are working on their team."

The manuscript has been praised by medical and mental health professionals, too. 

Contact me with your publishing proposals. And yes, there's a lo-cal latke recipe in the book ;^ D

What about your health or someone else's? Buy the E-book or print edition today for a soothing, brighter look at life and the whole holiday season: Click on the words EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical (Disability, Convalesence and/or Mental Health) Challenge.

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