Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Drug Deal Gone Bad

The death of Michael Jackson in 2009 was shocking. What was even more incredible, was that he was under the care of a private physician. Michael Jackson was preparing for his final concert tour to be held in London and hired Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician.

Dr. Conrad Murray a cardiologist had no business administering Propofol to Michael Jackson. It is unethical. As a doctor who takes the Hippocratic Oath - First Do No Harm, was probably overshadowed by First Get PAID Big Bucks. According to the opening statements by District D.A. David Walgren, Conrad Murray was paid the sum of $150,000 per month. Now, I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong about being a private physician. However, what's wrong is practicing medicine in an unethical manner. Dr. Murray thought that he could practice medicine by minimizing the dosage here and there while giving various drugs to Michael Jackson and at this point he knew that there was a drug dependence issue with Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray was no longer practicing medicine, he was in essence an in house, high paid drug dealer.

Dr. Murray's defense attorney, Ed Chernoff told jurors in his opening argument that Michael Jackson, of his own accord, swallowed several lorazepam pills on the morning of his death and that was enough to put people to sleep. This statement confirms that Dr. Murray was fully aware that his client was having difficulty with the various drugs administered to him. Dr. Murray lost his judgement and wanting to please his client, he knowingly gave Michael Jackson propofol while lorazepem was still active in his system. As all drugs have a warning to Keep Out Of The Reach Of Children, Dr. Murray was responsible for any drugs that were available to Michael Jackson, whenever Dr. Murray left the room, it was his duty to secure all drugs so that they were out of the reach of everyone.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Do You Handle Death?

One of the most awful experiences is watching your loved one slowly transition on to death. Some may say that it gives one time to adjust to the reality that death is on the way as you will no longer be able to share your lives together. However, for some it really doesn't matter whether you have time to adjust or whether you get the news that your loved one has just died suddenly - without any warning. The pain of losing a loved one cannot be measured by the time you have or have not had to prepare for this loss.

I know how it is to lose a loved one with time to say good bye, make amends, adjust, etc. and I also know what it's like to get the phone call that your loved one has just died suddenly when all seemed perfectly normal and neither forewarning or sudden death feels different to me. It all hurts! It really feels like the world has a lot of nerve moving forward while your world has just suffered a severe blow.

The next step is to digest the reality that it will never be the same and although you hear some people say that they know that their loved one is with them, it's still not the same. Holidays, birthdays, family reunions, weddings, graduations, births, etc. will serve as a reminder that your loved one is gone forever.

Then comes the awkward period, the time when you hear from those who want to express their condolences. Be prepared to hear some thoughtful, encouraging, well meaning sentiments and also some outrageous comments. Yes, somehow some people who really mean well will say some things that can be quite insensitive.

Here are some words that are quite inconsiderate:

* Well, he/she lived a long life (and who are you? the timekeeper? Living a long life does not mean much when you are mourning the loss of someone you've shared your life with)

* Oh, you're still young you can have another baby? (why would anyone say this??!! - Please keep this one to yourself)

* Thank goodness you still have the other children (that's just outright ridiculous! A loss of a child with siblings is a huge loss, a void which will impact the family unit)

* Don't cry, he/she would want you to be happy (crying is fine how can you be happy at a time like this?)

* God knows how much you can bare and he knows best (at that moment, that's good for God but right now, I cannot bare this loss and I don't want to hear it)

* Well, he/she is not suffering anymore and they are now at peace (you may have a point, but that point needs not to be made during the mourning process. Let the mourner come to terms with that on their own time)

A loss of a loved one is an emotional time even for the mother whose child was a menace to society. The best advice that I can suggest is to give your condolences by simply saying - "I'm sorry for your loss."

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

* Stop by and drop off something nice - a pie, a cake, flowers, cupcakes, fruit basket, something nice.

* Don't linger on too long, make it a quick visit. If your friend is lonely, you may want to stay close by just in case they need you. However, give them space even if you are staying with him/her.

* Let your knowledge of your relationship be your guide - a friend knows when to hug, not hug, say something, not say anything but just be there when needed.

* Allow the mourner to cry, do not try to stop them from crying. You're not helping, you are being annoying. If you are uncomfortable and unsure of what you should do, simply remain calm and quiet.

* Family members are usually tolerated for their behaviors, you know they are usually well known for their antics. Death usually brings out the worst in those who are nasty and mean spirited. The drunk family member will be sure to act out. The greed and discussions of who gets what can be an issue even before the funeral arrangements have been made. Fighting on the arrangements, how it should be done and all of the other details can also be an issue of contention.

Overall, death is such an incredible part of life. We are all affected by death and while everyone has his or her own way of dealing with a loss, think of how you would want to be treated - keep in mind it's an incredibly difficult form of saying goodbye.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Have You Heard the Good News?

The word on the health scene is that there is a health product that has the potential to burn fat, lower cholesteral, prevents diabetes and stroke, fights cancer, heart disease and staves off dementia - do you know what it is?


If your answer was green tea, then you are correct. It seems as though green tea has burst on the tea scene lately with much fan fare within the health and wellness community. Well, based on the benefits that are linked with green tea, how could you not want get in on it?

Although there are few human studies were conducted, the impressive outcomes indicates studies that drinking at least two cups of green tea daily inhibits cancer growth. Furthermore, the studies conducted in China shows that the consumption of green tea has reduced the risk of developing colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.

In a study that involved 500 Japanese men and women, researchers found that drinking at least four cups of green tea every day may be related to the reduced severity of coronary heart disease among the male participants.

A Dutch study of more than 3,000 men and women found that the more green tea consumed, the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels, more so in women.

Health experts all agree that green tea has important antioxidants and compounds that help in maintaining good health. Green tea's antioxidants are dilators because they improve the flexibility of blood vessels and make them less vulnerable to clogging. Clogging is not good as it complicates the circulatory process and prevents the proper flow/functioning of the internal mechanics.

Green tea and its extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL which is the "bad" cholesterol. Obesity and high cholesterol are risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. Studies in both the Dutch and Japanese shows that those who drank green tea had positive weight loss outcomes. Case in point, there was a study with 240 Japanese men and women who were given varying amounts of green tea extracts and those who got the highest amount lost both fat and weight, it also had lowered their blood pressure and LDL.

Now here's the great news!! Delta Labs has taken to the lab and formulated the Green Tea Plus. They have used natural herbs, a safe method that speeds up your metabolism and also helps you to lose weight. Exciting isn't it? Well, you can have a chance to win your very own bottle of Green Tea + by sending an email to Tell us how you are working to improve on your health and wellness.

If you are under the care of a physician with specific chronic/health issues, please discuss with your health care team before using any products. Even though we may promote something as being good for you, it may not be GOOD for YOU as it relates to your current health status.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Do you remember where you were when you heard about the terrorist attacks on Tuesday September 9th, 2001? Oh boy do I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was in a total state of shock. I was at work and could not believe the reports. Communication through cell phones were off making it impossible to get in touch with my family and friends. The rumors quickly spread to imply that there were sleeper cells who may be walking around the city to create further destruction. I became extremely concerned and all I thought of is leaving the job immediately and getting my children. I needed to get to my children and huddle to a safe zone - our home.
Once we were all accounted for, I made phone calls to my family and friends from the land line (home phone) to check in and let them know that we were okay. I was glued to the television, clicking through the channels to get everyone's view. It was an emotionally intense period. I cried every time I saw a replay of the towers being hit by the planes; each time a family or friend held up a picture of their loved one and spoke of the search for them; the first responders driving to the ground zero site with the West Side Highway lined with people clapping and cheering for them; the volunteers from near and far coming out to assist in providing support where needed; the gathering of the religious leaders of all faiths/religions at Yankee Stadium was a profound moment; the support of entertainers coming together to raise funds for the families and share in our grief and so many more scenarios - the tears could not stop flowing. However, the sound of the fighter jets flying over the house every 20-30 minutes was definitely the moment where I felt completely different about life. It was all surreal, as if I was on the movie set of in the middle of a war scene. I wondered if this would be the way we would live from now on. I even considered moving to the Caribbean to escape the chaos. I just could not imagine living in New York. Life would not be the same, how could it? I cannot tell you how many times I avoided the Metro North to the city if I spotted someone who I considered a possible terrorist, it was crazy. I prayed like a monk whenever I had to travel pleading with God not to allow any terrorists on the plane. Believe you me, I was borderline insane :-)
With all that I experienced, I could not imagine the impact that this had on those who worked, attended school, had a business or even more importantly, lived in the area. My husband and I participated in the Museum Mile Race in October 2001 which was at the upper West Side of Manhattan and we found ourselves coughing. I immediately noticed that we were not alone. There were others coughing but no one spoke openly. I pointed it out to my husband and we both acknowledged that it could be due to 9/11. Needless to say, those who worked in the area daily were exposed to the toxins and their health would be compromised greatly. We now see the growth of those with respiratory related illnesses and cancer are remarkably high with the first responders.

Furthermore, according to the studies reported by Dr. Thomas Farley Commissioner of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, post traumatic stress symptoms are the most common health effect of 9/11. Almost one in five (19%) adults enrolled in the Health Department's World Trade Center Health Registry reported post-traumatic stress symptoms 5 to 6 years after 9/11, roughly 4 times the rate typically found in the general population.
Ten years later, I still love my city but things have not yet felt quite the same to pre-9/11. Although I have traveled internationally and domestically since then, I still get a bit concerned whenever the orange alert announcements repeatedly announced at the airport. What am I supposed to do? Call my family in advance and tell them that there is an orange alert and I may not make it home? I just want them to find the terrorist/s and take them away quietly. Making the announcement will not intimidate the terrorist, keep in mind, they are willing to die and they are volunteering us to go with them.
However, with all the reflecting, I think of the families left behind to raise their children without a parent - some who never even had a chance to meet. I think of the first responders and volunteers who rushed to the site to assist with the search and rescue, to help provide food and clothing and all other supplies to the workers, without thinking for a moment that they too may endanger their lives. They just wanted to be there - selflessly.

On Saturday September 10th, I attended a back to school Health Fair where I spoke with some firemen who were a part of 9/11. Listening to their recounts of that time was extremely moving. They also shared that they were not invited to attend the ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I found it to be impossible to understand. How could these men and women who responded to a call that risked their lives not be invited to attend the ceremony? Some of these men and women are now fighting to survive. It is my opinion that all first responders should be on the priority list of attending the ceremonies even before the politicians and other invited dignitaries. With all due respect, the ones who made the difference are those who rescued, searched and worked tirelessly at ground zero have more rights to attend than those who watched and were briefed from the safety of their homes/offices.

I salute all of you who responded to the site at ground zero - NYPD, FDNY, Volunteers, Health Care Professionals, etc. I hope that you will receive all the financial support and mental services with your health and wellness concerns. As you reflect on the 9/11 anniversary, what comes to mind?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Simple Boost to Your Health & Wellness

When someone says Thank You it does something to you, come on admit it - you feel appreciated. However, I have found something even more special, much more uplifting. It's giving thanks. Perhaps I am taking it a bit too far but every now and again I look at the things that have worked in my favor and I say openly Thanks! Sometimes, I may post on my Facebook/Twitter that - I give thanks or It is good to give thanks. Guess what, it is so true. I'm thankful for a wonderful family. When I say thank you to my children, they take it and try to be even more consistent and thoughtful. In business, I'm thankful for my ability to serve others through health and wellness. In nature, I'm thankful for the sunshine. I give thanks for the rain, the trees, the ocean and I could go on and on.

I would like to challenge you to take a moment to give thanks. Perhaps you can begin today and write down the things that worked well each day and you will see how many good moments come your way. You do not have to be a religious person, you just have to be open and willing to appreciate the things that occur in your life. Here are a few suggestions:

* Your postal carrier
* Your baker and their staff
* Your waiter/waitress/hostess
* Your bus driver/taxi driver
* Your teacher/child's teacher
* Your Clergyman/woman
* Your health care practitioner (doctor, nurse, and all others who serve you)
* Your boss/office assistant/secretary

You get the idea, you give thanks and they receive the message. Your thanks may be the fuel that inspires them to be even better :-)

Is there someone you can think of who you can call or send a note to just say Thank You? If you can think of someone who may have helped you through a challenging period of your life, someone who cheered you up, someone who spoke an encouraging word to you, someone who listened to you share your concerns, someone who covered for you when you could not complete your shift, etc. Give them a call or send a card or note, it will not only brighten your mood but it will surely boost the spirit of the person who hears from you.

By the way, I want to say a very big THANK YOU!! to all of you who subscribe, share the blog with others, post your comments and also to those who just read it from time to time.