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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hot Off the Keyboard!


4 Shvat, 5777

My self-help coaching and journalistic efforts focus on coping with setbacks. Here's a look at some of my recent writings (you may leave comments under each article at the e-counseling site): Dealing with Depression in Chat Rooms, Getting Relationship Advice on the Internet and Why Millions have Moved Over to Online Therapy.

Continuing the topic of facing setbacks and keeping life in perspective, here's another excerpt from The Formula for Joy book by Sheldon Rice, as promised:

"... A Formula for Joy is a given now. I no longer binge and starve, count calories or worry about vitamins and minerals. My only interest is to create balance in my food patterns and lifestyle, a habit I have adopted as second nature by now.

Mentally, I have undergone extensive improvement in my ability to concentrate, organize my thoughts, create order and recall facts. I can handle many problems simultaneously without confusion. Unexpected problems are met with comfort and composure.

The most dramatic emotional change was the improvement in my self-confidence. I procrastinate less in making decisions and don’t look back. I have become a better listener, more sympathetic and compassionate toward others. I experience joy and peace of mind that I had never known, a result of physical stability.

Most importantly, I developed a spiritual connection to God in reflecting on the accidents that I survived, the gift of macrobiotics, my wonderful family and restored health. All the amazing events in my life suddenly fit together as I reflected and understood their true meaning. I had developed faith in a universal order that enabled me to understand that everything is for the best. I forgive everyone in my life who had ever caused me pain and affirmed that those experiences were products of my own thoughts and actions. All is well in my world.

Penniless at Disney World–Almost 

When we moved to the US in 1980 we wanted to compensate the disruption in our kids’ lives with a visit to Disney World in Florida. It took a leap of faith to fulfill this promise as I hadn’t yet found a job, and we expected the trip to be quite expensive. Lacking a credit record or a job, we had to rely entirely on cash for all our expenses. After we bought twoday family passes to Disney World I gave our money to Dalia for safe keeping.

The heat was oppressive with high humidity that left us limp and gasping for air from the moment we stepped out of the car. The kids were cranky a good part of the time and our patience quickly wore thin. When Dalia reached for her purse that evening we stared at each other in wide eyed shock when she discovered her wallet was missing with all our cash. We were dumbfounded. The wallet had evidently slipped out of her open purse when she went to the ladies room and placed her handbag on the floor of the toilet stall.

I insisted that we go back and enjoy ourselves the next day since we still had our two-day passes. At the park entrance Dalia called the lost and found. Incredibly, the wallet was there! Inside was a note which read, “I have your money. Please call to identify yourself.” Miraculously, a lovely Puerto Rican family had found the wallet and subsequently returned every dollar to us. Their honesty allowed us to complete our holiday and my faith in humanity was restored.

Mugged in Queens 

As a Shaklee distributor I spent many evenings at the homes of clients and downline distributors. One clear, cold February night I left one of my distributor’s homes in Queens for the 45 minute drive back to Larchmont, NY, where we lived. As I unlocked my car door I heard another car screech to a stop next to me. Four wild looking young men burst out and quickly surrounded me. One grabbed my shirt and pulled me face-to-face with him. He Page 14 of 29 A Formula for Joy flung my eyeglasses to the ground while his friend took my car keys. I was stunned, realizing I was in big trouble. A frenzied youth who appeared to be drug deprived, like his other friends, shoved me face down into the back seat and searched my back pockets for a wallet, while his friend drove us to a side street. My assailant held a long knife under my ear, close enough for me to feel its cold steel. Frustrated, he slashed my down jacket in a panic till feathers flew in all directions, covering everything. The driver pointed a pistol at my head and screamed incoherent four letter obscenities to his friend holding the knife. They began a shouting match whether to cut me up or blow my brains out. I tried to imagine a knife entering my back, wondering how the blade might feel passing through my flesh. I couldn’t visualize a bullet entering my body and speeding out the other side. I blurted out that my wallet was in my front pocket and raised myself up enough for them to have access to it.

Miraculously I had about two hundred dollars in cash, enough to satisfy their needs. They took the wallet, my wedding band and cheap Rolex watch. Leaving the car keys, they shouted for me not to look up until they were gone. I was stunned to be unharmed except for three or four drops of blood where the knife had nicked my ear. A good Samaritan neighbor let me into her house to call the police. She was horrified by the way I looked with feathers flying out of my jacket.

I had two immediate problems: how to drive without glasses and how to cross the toll bridge without money to get home. I couldn’t believe my luck! My glasses were lying unharmed on the ground where they had been thrown, and I had bought bridge tokens that evening on the way to my distributor. I left my coat in the garbage before I entered the house.

The police officer taking my report told me how fortunate I was to have had ample cash. A man he interviewed under similar circumstances had been cut open from groin to his chest for lack of money. Once again I had escaped danger without injury. I wondered why my life had been spared while others have suffered so much.

Thankfully Fired

I worked for the White Plains NY Parking Authority from 1980 to 1990, fortunate to be associated with Roy Flynt, as nice a man as I could have imagined. The mayor of White Plains, on the other hand, was a ruthless individual who I avoided as much as possible.

In the late 1980s the mayor pressed Roy to take early retirement so he could replace him with someone else of his choosing. As Roy resisted this pressure, the mayor behaved so badly toward him in public and private that Roy eventually succumbed and left the Parking Authority.

Shortly thereafter, the mayor called me to inquire about some technical issue. A strong impulse overtook me and I blurted out my unsolicited feelings about his mistreatment of Roy. That was the last conversation I ever had with the Mayor. He summarily fired me, agreeing only to let me complete the few months missing for an early retirement pension.

At first I was shocked to learn that I had been fired, but that feeling quickly changed to euphoria as I realized what a great opportunity this was to return to Israel. I had been planning to leave Dalia and realized that this was my opportunity to return to the place where I truly felt at home and be close to my two soldier daughters there. The Page 15 of 29 A Formula for Joy spontaneous conversation with the mayor was one more example of divine intervention leading me to my higher good..."

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.

Fill your mind and heart with productive thoughts that keep life in perspective.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Personal Update


28 Tevet, 5777

I've had a busy week or two since last Thursday, enough stress from demands on my time and presence to leave me feeling tired. It's as if I'm tired enough for two weeks of hard work!

But I'm happy to have something nice to show for all my efforts: Assisting with the joyous celebrations for a friends' marriage, helping children who needed my time, and life-coaching a client or two (more, actually) while managing to keep my kitchen busy and my exercise regimen.

I even met some journalistic deadlines. You can read the results here, here and here.

Certified in spiritual chaplaincy and counseling skills, I've worked with several mental health methods and practitioners. I addressed a convention of mental health therapists several years ago (talk about feeling pressured!). 

Keep looking for my input at the e-counseling site. Let me know here, or there, what you think of the ideas I present.

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.

Fill your heart and soul with supportive information.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Life Lesson Regarding YOUR Medication and Medical/Mental Health History


21 Tevet, 5777

I've been busy preparing feature stories for a mental health website (I'm certified in counseling skills and as a spiritual chaplain plus quite experienced at coaching ill people 1:1 as I intereact with mental health professionals professionally and socially). Now I have a bit of mental health information to share with YOU!

An acquaintance shared the following account of a frightening story that need not have happened. Heed the life lesson no matter your medical or mental state:

Now that it is all over, I have been asked to share a scary story, in the hopes that others will learn from it, and not suffer as this family suffered.

My connection to the story is that I volunteer for an organization that helps women who are suffering from post-partum depression.

This story is about a woman who suffered in her youth from anxiety and depression - fairly mild , but she continued to take antidepressants for many years.  

Thank Gd, she never had setbacks after giving birth.

At menopause, her ob-gyn felt that her physical symptoms were severe enough to warrant taking hormone replacement therapy.

Unfortunately, this ob-gyn did not ask her about her mental health history, and was unaware that she had suffered in the past from anxiety and depression.

Like most laypeople, she did not realize that there might be an issue.

It started very gradually. Her mood changes were blamed on her gradually emptying nest. She would feel antsy, couldn't concentrate on anything.

Then the panic attacks began. She quit her job, feeling that she was unable to do even simple tasks.

As time went on, she found it hard to be alone. She would call her husband to come home from work. But she was too depressed to enjoy his company. She would lose her temper over nothing.

And then there were rages. She would scream, and throw things. She seemed to have completely lost control.

She stayed in bed most of the day, which kept her calmer.  And then, a few good days went by, as she stayed in bed, her mood improved. She talked calmly, the rages and the panic attacks were gone.

In her calmer state, she noticed that she had missed a week of her hormones. She took a pill, and by the next morning, was completely out of control again. This sequence repeated itself one more time, until her 

husband decided to look up the potential side effects of the hormones.

Seems that mood swings and depression are both potential side effects, and much more likely when one has a history of mood issues.

Now that this very difficult time is over, the woman is back on her feet, and her family is breathing easier, they want to share the lessons - hormones affect moods. And other medications can also affect moods. Any doctor who prescribes medication must be told your complete medical history, including mood issues. Even if it was a long time ago, and even if they don't ask.

As you'll learn in the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge, YOU are your own best medical advocate. Read every page to learn how to take proactive steps to protect your inner and outer health.

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

Fill your time with proactive behavior!

Friday, January 13, 2017

First Aid for Britons Suffering Underfunded Healthcare Services


15 Tevet, 5777

Alarming news in the medical world (hat tip to MEDPAGE TODAY):

The British Medical Association joined the Red Cross 
and British healthcare unions in warning that 
the U.K.'s National Health Service is dangerously underfunded 
and in crisis, disputing Sunday's statement by
 British Prime Minister Theresa May that the NHS
 is stable with funding at record levels.

Britons who feel stressed and/or can't afford the medical care they need might find the solutions to their problems in the Global Resources section of, plus the soothing text in, doctor-recommended

Read it to learn of charitable organizations willing to pay part or all of your specific healthcare needs.

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.

Fill your medical files with sound solutions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Read a Wonderful Book Over My Shoulder: One "Formula for Joy"


13 Tevet, 5777

I recently read several books that impressed me with the descriptions of profound improvements in the lives of their authors. Each had described how he or she had chosen to commit to specific healing and/or inspirational lines of thought and how that has had appealing impacts on their lives.

Today I want to begin sharing excerpts from Sheldon Rice's book, A Formula for Joy. Here's the first excerpt:

A Formula for Joy 

How fortunate I am! What gratitude I feel 
or the gifts the universe has provided me – 
consistent joy, devoted wife, perfect home, 
financial security and deep spiritual knowing 
that all is well. My three daughters and 
five grandchildren provide harmony, love 
and affection to us and to each other; they are 
strong anchor in our lives. We live without 
medicine or pain. What more can I ask 
in the 78th year of my life? 
I am blessed. 

Some people relate happiness and joy to 
material gains; others require spiritual 
connection to feel complete. For me joy is 
a sense of contentment that results in a 
deep sense of well being. Happiness for me 
is freedom from fear. It is made conscious 
when I appreciate all that I have, 
particularly when I can compare it to 
how my life used to be. This appreciation 
requires focusing on the now—how I feel now, 
not what I may feel in the future or felt in the 
past. When I am in a state of balanced mental, 
emotional, or physical health, my joy is peaked. 

What is the source of my incredible joy, and 
how did it come about? Luck alone 
cannot explain it. After extensively 
pondering the issue, I concluded that 
there exist universal truths that are 
easy to understand although they can be 
difficult to apply. Successfully realizing 
them has brought life changing rewards 
for me. 

The purpose of this book is to inspire 
through the examples of these 
simple concepts. Personal experience is 
the only real tool there is. Anyone 
can do what I did by applying effort, 
strong desire and deep self reflection. 

There is no need to accept everything I write 
immediately. It is meant as food for thought 
that sometimes makes sense long after 
the first time you read about the concepts I 
present here. On the other hand, something 
you read might answer an immediate 
personal issue. 

Balance According to Yin and Yang 

Applying universal truths helped me turn my 
life around. The first of these is the principle of 
yin yang balance. Intuitively the idea 
makes sense to me, but its application to
my lifestyle, particularly in my case 
my eating practices, proved to be quite 

Achieving balance requires significant habit 
changes, an elusive and often difficult initiative 
for many people. Why do some people make 
changes in their lives so easily once they are 
consciously stimulated to do so, while others 
find it so difficult? 

The ease of making changes is one of many 
personality traits illuminated through the 
esoteric science of numerology. We are all 
born with a personality planned for us 
by our soul, yet anything can be changed 
through our free will. At least half of the 
world population—the percentage varies 
from country to country—has difficulty 
making changes. Given sufficient incentive, 
anyone can make changes if they want to 
badly enough. For me, making changes 
is relatively easy. In fact, I changed to 
a macrobiotic diet literally overnight. 
I decided and did it. 

“Balance” always had been merely a 
buzz word for me, only translated into my 
day to day reality when I first undertook 
macrobiotic cooking 30 years ago. 
It was then that the terms yin and yang 
entered my vocabulary. Before that, 
I had had no way to measure 
or understand balance. 

Everything existent may be classified as 
either yin (expansive) or yang (contractive). 
Balance is possible when these
two universal forces are synchronized. 
For example, when Page 1 of 29 
A Formula for Joy we dress warmly
in winter we are comfortable because 
we are balancing expansive warmth (yin) 
with its natural complement, contractive 
cold (yang). On the other hand, when we
 eat ice cream in winter, the effect on the
body is discomfort, as the cold food (yin) 
and cold weather (yin) together 
create an imbalance of excessive yin. 
As a result we feel tired, lethargic, 
unfocused. These simple examples are 
easy to understand. 

Stress, on the other extreme, is a 
contracted (yang) state. A person who 
by nature is already relatively contractive–
uptight, driven, serious, intense–may find
temporary relief in eating rich foods, 
perhaps drinking alcohol to excess or taking 
drugs. In my case, stress relief was mainly 
through sugar. The problem with all these
solutions is that they don’t address the 
underlying cause of the imbalance. 
Addressing and relieving the stress itself 
neutralizes the need for destructive habits 
and restores personal control. Each person 
needs to balance his food intake with 
these natural considerations in mind. 

There is no single, universal formula for 
achieving balance. I know when I am 
relatively balanced in my daily life by 
the way I feel. It can be a long time in 
coming and yet happen in a moment. 
Even then it fades in and out. 
When I feel content, I am balanced. 
My mind is clear to pursue my chosen 

Imbalance for me means remaining hungry 
after I eat. I feel agitated and dissatisfied, 
and find it hard to relax. If I lose control, 
I find myself endlessly and restlessly 
snacking. With attention, I can examine 
the quality and quantities of what I ate to
find balance. I don’t believe that everyone 
has to follow a macrobiotic lifestyle 
to feel balanced. There are many healthy 
diets that leave people feeling good. 
The important thing is that balance 
requires good eating habits that leave us 
in a happy, good feeling place. 

My eating imbalance originated with 
early childhood training. My parents came 
from a Belarus village in the Pale of 
Settlement, perhaps similar to the one in 
Fiddler on the Roof without the sentiment. 
For them, low body weight meant that 
when the next famine comes there won’t be 
enough physical reserves to fall back on. 
My mother’s neurotic food obsession 
led her to insist that from an early age 
I eat more, regardless of my appetite. 

In order to be sure that I ate enough, 
my mother spoon fed me until I was six
years old. Not sure how to stop this 
insidious force feeding, she revealed the 
details to my school teacher in my
presence. I have never forgotten that 
shame. Even in my adult years she loved 
telling everyone how she had allowed me to 
break dishes while she fed me, just so
I would keep eating. 

These early obsessions around food 
inevitably led to patterns of overeating 
that continued for a good part of my life. 
I binged consistently with sweets and 
anything else in the house that was eatable. 
Though I was never obese, certainly had 
periods of being full-figured. The imbalance 
of alternately binging and dieting became
a way of life for me for decades. 

In my early 50s I adopted a macrobiotic 
lifestyle, seeking discipline in that
structured framework. At first I continued 
to overeat without control, until after a
year and a half I was diagnosed with 
a tumor somewhere between my 
bladder and spine. Only when I realized
that healing was contingent upon taking
control of my eating habits did I learn to
release my binging. The secret for me 
was in learning to chew, taking an hour 
to eat each meal.Chewing for such a long 
time left me balanced, satisfied with a 
relatively small quantity of food. 

This rigorous chewing regimen lasted over 
two years. For the first time I began to 
experience balance on a daily basis. 
It was an incredible relief as I could now 
focus my mind on activities other than food 
once I left the table. 

 After my tumor finally healed, my 
overeating habits resurfaced. 
I lost control once again, this time 
with nourishing food. Overeating was 
so deeply ingrained that I couldn’t sustain 
healthy eating patterns despite feeling 
so much better with them. Once again, the 
patterns of binging and dieting returned. 
About 18 years ago I had the good fortune 
of meeting with a superb hypnotherapist. 
My desire for change was so strong that
one session was enough for me to
kick the habit of overeating and this
time stick with it. What incredible good 
fortune! It has made such a big difference 
in my life, as my balance and good feeling 
have been restored. After a lifetime, 
binging is a problem I have put behind me.

Watch for a few more excerpts from A Formula for Joy when you visit this blog.

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.

Fill your reading list with helpful materials.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Help Yourself at The Whole Health Forum!


12 Tevet, 5777

Last year I was among the featured speakers at The Whole Health Forum. A fact-filled, international get-together of people experienced in Alternative, Western, plus Complementary healing strategies and successes, it was a fun experience for everyone who participated in the event. 

Board-certified doctors, alternative healers and people who'd healed or improved their health somehow were part of the crowd. We educated our audiences who dined on delicous whole foods between sessions.

I'd like to you to help me to "spread the word about the Whole Health Forum" coming up this spring!

Who knows? Maybe we can meet each other there.

Questions? Ask me all about them.

UPDATE: The Whole Health Forum is a five day educational gathering for health-minded English speakers in Israel. This is a place to regain and maintain optimal health. Join us in a relaxing, informative gathering in the beautiful Judean hills just outside Jerusalem in Even Sapir from Sunday, May 21st to Friday May 26. Choose from cutting edge holistic workshops with doctors, rabbis, healers, and therapists during each of seven daily time periods. Enjoy perfectly healthy vegan kosher food and create lifetime friendships.

Enjoy early bird discounts until February 1st. Stay on site, in a nearby BnB, or commute. Volunteers and teachers come for half price.

Contact us by mail or call Sheldon at 052-706-5002. Visit for full details.

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.

Fill your healthcare with tried and true options!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Words to the Ever-Wiser: YOU are Your Own Best Medical Advocate!


7 Tevet, 5777

Words to the Ever-Wiser: 

The other day my general practice doctor questioned why I'd requested a blood test for my hemoglobin and a few other blood chemistry levels following the unanticipated loss of blood during my hand surgery this month. 

I responded: "I used to be a medical coder. Anyone in that profession would know of the necessity to check blood levels following significant blood loss. Since follow-up surgery is scheduled in a few weeks from now, we need to know FAST that my body can safely endure it!"

He wrote the hall pass for the blood test after saying "Ah, you know what you're talking about."  I took it this morning as nurses carefully checked to fill each necessary vial with my red stuff. Hat tip to my dear friend and fantastic nurse, Terri , who reminded me to have the blood check done.

Life Lesson: Find out relevant facts about your medical situations and be proactive regarding your medical care. Doctors lack time to do much more than check boxes, patients and time slips. YOU are your own best advocate.

Read all about that in 

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.

Fill your life with good decisions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Possible SOLUTION for Brain Tumor Patients Struggling to Pay for Medications...


6 Tevet, 5777

BRAIN TUMOR Patients having trouble paying for the co-payments or deductibles for Temodar / Temozolomide, Avastin, Optune and Gliadel? 


The Musella Foundation is only ONE of the several medical care problem-solvers listed in the Resources Section of 

Psst: The EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge is listed as #2 in the Recommended Reading materials at the Musella site.

Buy yourself a copy of 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.

Fill your time with focused efforts.

Love Your Child? Read this Important FYI to Protect Him/Her!


5 Tevet, 5777

My formerly broken arm healed two weeks early, but last week's surgery to repair my Trigger Thumb (aka Hammer Thumb) went awry. Surgical Repair Part 2 is scheduled to clean up the problem later this month.

Meanwhile, I'm home sneezing due to a very dusty day and happened upon this blogpost. Love your child? 

Click on 

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.

Fill your decision-making efforts with good sense.