Here are a few of the 21 Lessons Learned and shared in Dear Doctor, I am your teacher...
1.“First, do no harm…” means exactly what it says.
2. I made a conscious decision at one point to never say, “My gut tells me…” anything. I do not say phrases like “My heart breaks…” or “My head is killing me…” I learned over time, but not in time. I encourage you to do the same. I will explain more later.
3. It can be potentially dangerous, even life-threatening for patient, or doctor, to just assume anything. Know this: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION ALWAYS REQUIRES ADEQUATE RESPONSE.
4. Never assume (especially in this electronic era) that any health care provider is aware of a patient’s medical history just because the patient or some family member might have shared it verbally or even submitted it in writing to be part of the patient’s past or present chart or records. I repeat: Never assume anything. Be certain of the facts whenever possible. Also, know that technological dependence can serve well those who depend on it only if timely and accurate data has been put into an electronic system. Remember, those who input such data are human and humans err, so check and recheck the facts.
5. There may be no greater tool to help the healthcare professional properly care for any patient than for the patient to have an accurate and up to date personal medical information file. In that file should be copies of any past diagnostic studies (radiology studies, lab work, etc.) surgical summaries; lists of illnesses, diseases, injuries, surgeries, allergies; and family history (the disease history of mother, father, maternal and paternal grandparents, and siblings). Such records could prove important at some time in your future. Also, patients should know the names of all medicines and supplements they take and understand why they take them. They should understand potential side effects or complications from taking them or not taking them, as well as the effect certain foods might have on the way the body uses or reacts to a medicine or supplement.
Get your copy of Dear Doctor, I am your teacher HERE and stay healthier!
Linger long in the presence of beauty...
From THOSE MOMENTS THAT MATTER: as angels dance among the demons on the broad ways of our lives (A Memoir)
There are many other-worldly truths and realities in my life that are more reliable than most of the clocked or calendared events that time as we know it dictates. I now am choosing to discerningly turn back toward those things ... formerly unexplained dreams, visions, experiences, happenings. I am remembering and writing of some of them now as I become the new me that death and grief requires. It will be what it was, and is, as I become what I will be during whatever tomorrows are left for me in this realm.
For more than 30 years, as a columnist, author, and broadcaster, I have helped thousands to have their stories told and heard. I will continue to enjoy doing that, but now I need to tell mine, too. When I was young, extrasensory perception (ESP) were the buzzwords for sort of supernaturally knowing stuff that others did not understand how you could know. I had it. I still have it. I thought everybody did until my mom told me when I was about 13 years old that they did not. As I said, that was hard to hear, but it helped me to better understand people I had started labeling quite inappropriately. I was wrong to do that.
Later, after leaving the nursing profession and entering journalism I would discover “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, which further helped me in my struggle to try to balance what I often knew so well, and others could not seem to know at all.++++++++++An excerpt from SOUL FOOD and Spirit Vittles, Volume Two
Risqué Ice Cream
Shortly after Volume One of “SOUL FOOD and Spirit Vittles” was published, I received several requests to include real recipes for some of my favorite actually edible foods.
I immediately thought of a column I wrote back around the turn of the century (makes me sound old – I love it!).
It was back in the day when nobody warned me about milk and sugar and tons of cholesterol and when I made the richest hand-churned-on-the-back-porch ice cream around.
My recipe was a spinoff of my dad’s recipe from decades earlier.
So please know that this recipe has been around a while.
But before I share it, I have to tell you about an incident tied to this particular column in which I shared my now infamous chocolate banana ice cream recipe.
I have worked from home since 1987, and always before I submit something for printing or publishing to a newspaper or magazine, I read it for spelling errors and other typos.
Then I read it for overall content and what I call flow.
THEN … I call somebody and read it aloud because you hear things when you read aloud that you never hear when reading silently (or when writing).
Therefore, in reference to this particular chocolate banana ice cream column, I called my sister – yep, the one in the insurance business who was constantly jet-setting around the country.
But no matter where she was, she always took my calls.
She actually happened to be in her home office on the fateful day when she threw my Georgia Press Association award-winning inspirational column writing reputation under the bus.
She then said, “MJ, you need to read that again. I was not listening closely enough.”
Unknowingly, at my end, she put me on speaker phone and muted things at her end.
I read it again.
When I was finished, she turned her speaker back on and I could hear all the giggles as her sales team snickered about my first "risqué column" according to my sister and her team.
Please be assured that I still do not think it was the least bit sexually colorful, but they did. You can judge for yourself:
The Ultimate Frozen Stress Buster
(MJ's newspaper column from July 2000)
If you read me regularly you know I have offered a great many stress busting tips and relaxation techniques over the years.
And, if you know me, you know why I’m always looking for new ones.
Am I wired?
Sometimes, but not often.
Mostly I just overextend.
Could be that oldest kid syndrome, along with a few other quirks I’ve picked up over the past fifty years.
But I won’t bore you today with how I got to be me.
What I want to share is one of the neatest stress busters I’ve ever discovered.
NOTE – I do not recommend this on a regular basis.
In fact, whatever mental health (stress reduction) benefits you gain from the awesome experience of doing it probably will be physically neutralized by what you are actually doing.
But don’t let that little tidbit keep you from enjoying what I am about to suggest.
If you don’t have an ice cream freezer, you are going to want to buy or borrow one for this treat of treats.
And don’t forget the ice cream salt, table salt just doesn’t cut it.
Ingredients for the ice cream (not the stress busting technique – that’s coming later):
• four eggs (I prefer fresh ones straight from my chicken pen)
• one and one-half cups sugar
• one tablespoon self-rising unbleached flour
• instant pudding (3.9 oz - chocolate)
• one can sweetened condensed milk
• one can evaporated milk
• four mashed ripe bananas
• whole milk
• one teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, flour and evaporated milk in saucepan over medium heat.
Mix well with electric mixer.
Add pudding and mix, mix, mix.
Don’t walk away.
Keep stirred while heating for approximately eight to ten minutes.
Do not boil.
Add well-beaten eggs.
Stir and stir and stir for another couple of minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add sweetened condensed milk and mix well.
Add vanilla and mix.
Stir in mashed ripe bananas and continue mixing well with electric mixer.
Pour into a four-quart ice cream freezer.
Finish filling to marker with milk and stir well.
Place in freezer for one to two hours to chill.
Remove from freezer and get started turning the crank (the best way) or plug in your ice cream freezer if it’s electric.
Use ice cream salt liberally on the ice in the freezer and of course, follow the directions that come with your machine.
NOW... When it gets too hard to turn, or when it automatically cuts off, if it’s an electric machine, let it set for a few minutes.
Then share what you must with family or guests.
The secret to really successful stress busting is to have at least one-third of a gallon left.
Leave it in the freezing container and slip it back into your freezer, or into the freezing compartment of your refrigerator.
Go about your business.
Care for your family, friends.
Tie up any loose ends of the day that may still be dangling in front of you.
Get your bath and go to bed if you are sleepy.
The ice cream will hold.
Timing has to be right.
It’ll be fine in the freezer for a week or so.
Rest in the knowledge that it’s there.
What you need at this point is an extremely exhausting day.
The kind you can’t shake.
The kind that crawls into bed with you at night daring you to close your eyes, reminding you, with every breath, of all you did not get done during the day, and all that’s waiting for you as soon as the sun rises.
AND … NOW!
Go find the largest, fluffiest towel you own and go to the freezer.
Take out that metal container with your name invisibly written on it.
Remove the top.
Wrap the canister in the towel.
Retrieve the largest spoon in the kitchen – literally the biggest one you can find that you can slide into the container.
Go back to bed.
Be sure your pillows are just right.
Curl up cross-legged with the frozen treasure cradled in your arms and DIG IN!
You have to trust me here, until you try it for yourself, that is – it is impossible to think about anything else while indulging this elegantly (and secretively).
No relationship issues.
Nothing can interrupt this time if you focus on the phenomenal experience I have prescribed here.
Wiggle every frozen smidgeon all around on your tongue.
Taste the chocolate as you have never tasted chocolate.
Search for a tiny hunk of banana.
Let yourself totally experience the pleasure of every bite.
When you are finished, set the towel wrapped container on the floor by the bed. Lie back.
Cuddle deep into your pillow and go to sleep with full knowledge that God loves you even more that you have just loved yourself.
An excerpt from Malignant EMOTION:
...“We either are not communicating at all, David, or we are communicating at some level on which I have never interacted before,” I responded with some degree of hesitance and a twinge of anxiety.
“That may well be true for both of us, but please bear with me, Terri. Tell me more about BJ’s malignant feelings that she said led to the breast cancer. I know I am intruding, but please try to talk to me. It is really important.”
“Malignant emotion,” I corrected him as curiosity set in; obviously, our communication was important to him, but why?
“Very well, Terri, malignant emotion is the term you said she used.”
“Well, I remember in the early years how she often said it would have been heart cancer if it could have been, but since the breast was so close to the heart then that’s why it got picked. She said her breast took the brunt of the blow.”
“Got picked?” he asked.
“Brunt of the blow? That’s what she said, Terri? Her exact phrase.”
“Yes, exact. I’m telling you, David, that BJ believed all the negative stuff had to go somewhere. Find itself a home. She would not let it rule her. She stuck it all away into some deep dark corner of herself, her heart, perhaps. She said it eventually just found its way to her breast and cried out for attention. She had to find a way to get rid of it so she had it cut out.”
“She said that?”
“That, David, among other things.” ...
What people have said about Malignant EMOTION
“With Malignant EMOTION, award-winning author Mary Jane Holt has penned a beautifully written and deeply spiritual tale of life, love and death and all that’s in between. It is an uplifting and inspiring work that speaks to the true meaning of friendship. I highly recommend it.”
- William Rawlings, MD, Author and Physician (www.williamrawlings.com)
“Malignant EMOTION truly describes the roller coaster of emotions a cancer patient has... I could not put this book down. It was so real. It gives you excitement and then peace.”
- Glenna Thornton, Breast Cancer Survivor
“Malignant EMOTION gave me more insight into the female psyche than anything I have ever read and I have been an avid reader all my life! That is by no means saying I fully understand women because nobody does, but I think I understand them a little better now.”
- Paul Loth, Retired Marine
“I have never been so mesmerized by a story line. It was brilliant how it flowed in and out of the hidden, yet so apparent life lessons throughout Malignant EMOTION. I especially loved the twist at the end.”
- Tommy Brandt, Award-winning Christian Country Music Artist (www.tommybrandt.org)
I just loved Malignant EMOTION! It made me laugh and it made me cry while it made me think about how much life means every day... It gave me a much deeper appreciation for each day and all things!
- Earlene Scott, breast cancer survivor and independent retail bookseller for 33 years (Scott’s Book Store in Newnan, GA)
Through the web of life portrayed in her novel, Mary Jane Holt conveys the importance of each individual, each thought, each act, each word or look. Then she allows these little things to fade into the mist as life focuses on what is even more important - true love. She uses words to skillfully paint a picture of love - God's love reflected by each of us as we become willing to incorporate it into ourselves. Malignant EMOTION is a story of overcoming those things which bind us, and freeing the spirit, as we learn to look and listen beyond ourselves.
- Doris Woodruff Hewitt, PhD, Cross Keys Counseling Center
Talk a healthy meandering walk every day if you can...
Here are links to books by Mary Jane Holt. MALIGNANT EMOTION (revised from 2009) is only available as a digital download now, but she is looking for a publisher and is open to selling the film rights to this "friends" novel with an underlying breast cancer awareness theme.