Like Removing A Nail

Toes.JPEG

So you always hear about the techniques used when people are being tortured…one of them being have their nails ripped off.


Ouch!


So this week when I had a ingrown toenail removed, I said jokingly to the podiatrist:


“Do you do waterboarding also?”


Ok, funny, not-funny.  Still got a chuckle!


But in removing the nail, the technique is really so amazing.


They inject the toe with a local anesthetic, but hey even the injections into a sensitive toe could be pretty uncomfortable. 


So before the injection, they spray you toe with a freezing spray, so you don’t even feel the injections.


When he actually removed the nail and chemically destroyed the nailbed so it wouldn’t come back, I didn’t feel a thing.


I mean, I literally didn’t feel a thing!


It was a wonderful feeling–whatever he did, however much it would’ve hurt–it didn’t.


I thought to myself in a wave of anesthetic and freeze-numbed delight, this is absolutely wonderful.


No pain, not even a pinch. 


I could sense everything going on around me, take it in, think about it, even mull it over again and again, and just smile. 


In a way, I thought how wonderful life would be to have the ability to think in the head and feel from the heart, but have no pain or suffering in the body. 


Yes, there are plenty of damning and painful thoughts, memories, and heartaches, but for the body to be numb (even momentarily) to all the bad stuff that actually felt pretty good.


How would it feel if the mind and heart also felt no pain and only bliss–I smiled even more. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pro Life OR Pro Choice

Abortion

I took this photo going to the doctor last week.

This guy is standing outside the office building and he goes, “Did you know that there is an abortion clinic in there?”

Sort of stating the obvious as a guy, I said, “Well I’m not going there!”

It was fascinating though watching this guy picketing with his sign, “Pray To End Abortion.”

And he’s standing in front of some spiffy signs advertising Fendi and Gucci. 

Perhaps, he’s not understanding where some people come from and what they go through getting pregnant either not by choice (rape, incest, etc.) or they are not ready to properly care for a child or there is a clear and present danger to the health of the mother. 

While late term abortions are completely anathema and in my mind really are murder, perhaps early term abortions, even if not a desired outcome by any means are at times a type of life-saving necessity for the reasons mentioned. 

Unfortunately, I really don’t think it’s a simple either/or.  

Yes, we must be pro life and protect the unborn children.

AND

Yes, we must have some element of pro choice and protect the mother and the child when it’s birth would bring more harm than good. 

The decision needs to be made case-by-case and are excruciating to decide and do the right thing for all. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing The Weight

Superman

So when I was young, I may have aspired to be Superman.  


Now, I am a little more realistic in my dreams and understanding of my capabilities. 


Since my hips started deteriorating almost 3 years ago, and I had the 2 hip replacements, it has been challenging at times with mobility and of course, weight gain. 


But as I continue to get back to myself, some people have been particularly encouraging and inspiring to me.  


One is a terrific doctor that my wife had recommended, and she told me straight up to just lose the weight. 


She told me about JuicePlus pills–which I found a cheaper version with JuiceFestiv that are capsules for organic fruit and vegetables that energizes and also fills you up. 


She also told me simply what her principle has been, “Eat half!” 


Next, I am grateful to my friend, Jacob Elbaz, who told me how he wants me around a long time as a friend and with my family.  


He also had good advice, “Just one pound a week…how hard is that?”


Finally, I am grateful to my wife who in a most caring way is cooking the right foods now and making me lots of healthy mush–some of it even edible.


With G-d’s help, I believe that I can do it!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Better Than A Cadaver

Lying Down

So I’m at the doctor’s office for a checkup.

The doctor tells me to lie down on the exam table. 

There is also a 3rd year medical student in the room as part of her training. 

The exam starts and there are all these devices for checking things out. 

It’s feeling a little tense. 

I jokingly say, “I feel like a cadaver lying here (being studied).”

Then the medical student says, “Oh you smell much better than a cadaver! I just took that class.”

Oh, how comforting is that–smelling better than a stinkin’ dead person whose been embalmed!

At which point, there is some ridiculous talk about dead people and formaldehyde, body odor, and decay.

This was quite a lively visit, but I hope it was helpful to me and to medical science. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Birds Of A Feather

An open letter to the Board and members of the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC) and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office:


In my May 30th blog, G-d is Good, (Some) People Not So, I wrote about the accused Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the RJC, the now known “Sauna Rabbi,” who the New York Times disclosed about having some unorthodox and usual practices of getting naked with children and young adults. 


Yesterday in the New York Times, I read the follow up to the story that Dr. Donald Liss, the Chairman of the Board, overruled the board who demanded that Rabbi Rosenblatt leave the synagogue, and now many of the board members are resigning over this travesty of justice and members are leaving the synagogue to start break-away prayer services. 


At the end of my last blog on this subject, I wrote: “One last thing I will say, there are others in that community that were involved.”


One of the others involved, guess who?


Yes, the Chairman of the Board who overruled the community and is protecting Rabbi Rosenblatt. 


I grew up in Riverdale from the age of 10 when my family moved from the upper west side of Manhattan. I attended SAR Academy, the local yeshiva.  My family had many lovely friends in this community and we attended the RJC where we were members for over 20 years.


Dr. Donald Liss significantly older than myself and my friends growing up frequently invited us to his house in Riverdale to “learn” Torah and for Shabbat meals, although the learning frequently turned into talk and banter and “wrestling.”  Dr. Liss, as a doctor of rehabilitative and sports medicine, claimed great interest in my physical fitness as a youth and my practice of martial arts. He started to run and workout with me and my best friend and this at times lead to more “wrestling” matches.


Later Dr. Liss provided me a Summer job in his and his brother’s practice at Englewood Hospital. Dr Liss was quite well off and took advantage of me that my family was less so and I needed a job. He provided me the opportunity to work out there in their “gym” during lunch and then when I would change in the locker room, he would invariably show up to talk with me. 


Other times, he invited me to go on vacation with his family to the Poconos to babysit his kids.  I remember one particular time, I went running on the trail there, and he came.  When we got back to the house we were staying in, he dropped all his clothes in the kitchen area in front of me and his wife and totally nude just started talking. 


Other times, when I would work out in my apartment in Riverdale with weights or stretching for karate, even during the day, Dr. Liss would show up. And he would also invite my friend and I to his home to lift weights and more “wrestling”.


As I got older and smarter, I realized Dr. Liss’s behavior was not normal, and his interest in my workout and my Torah learning did not seem innocent any longer. I stopped getting together and taking his phone calls. His calling, hang-ups, and messages increased.


I met Dr. Liss one last time to put an end to his harassment, and I confronted him that I thought despite his being married with kids and his professing of religion that he had abnormal tendencies, and I wanted him to stay away from me.  He pretended to be shocked at my allegations as a Jewish man who sat towards the front of the synagogue and was learned. 


When I moved to DC, the only contact I had from Dr. Liss was when he tried to friend me on Facebook, which I promptly cut him off. 


That Dr. Liss would now protect Rabbi Rosenblatt and overrule the wishes of the Riverdale Jewish Center is a Chillul Hashem and travesty of justice. 


Every word in this blog is true, and I hope it helps the community and the victims to get over this tragedy and desecration of G-d.  The good people who wish to grow up and pray without unwanted advances of some sick individuals hiding behind many veils of religion and family deserve their community back. 

Cancer 101

Cancer Incidence Stages of Cancer
I saw this in a doctor’s office and thought it was very educational on Cancer.



The first diagram has a brief definition of cancer and the incidence of cancer type for males and females.



The second explains the stages of cancer, I through IV, and is shown in the small intestine, as an example. 



This stuff is so scary and horrible. 



The “C” word…we should never hear it, say it, or know from it anymore!



G-d should help us find a cure to rid this world of this disease.



Save us from that which afflicts us, and send us a complete healing of body, mind, and soul, Amen!!!



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Psychotherapy, In The Beginning

Psychotherapy
Wow, I love this early photo of psychotherapy.



The girl is lying on some pillows on 2 chairs. 



The Freudian doctor leans over the girl and is yanking on his goatee listening intently…and analyzing!



A man, that I assume is the girls dad is in the background, hovering protectively and hoping she is feeling better soon. 



The mind, like the body, unfortunately can get sick. 



And we need to take care of ourselves and seek help to get better. 



Fear not the competent doctor who really cares and sincerely wants to help (and is not just in it as a pure business).



Pray that G-d guides him to heal you and give you strength in body and peace of mind. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)