Sunday, March 29, 2009

Emersion Therapy: cast iron clawfoot bathtub!

It was before Mass today when the sunlight  was  suddenly basking the rim of the tub wistfully.... 

A funky old salle de bain can do this!  It draws you in !What is it about lovely old bathrooms with  charm oozing from their faded walls and antique mirrors? 

                                                  Whether it be an Italian tiled shower room...

This refreshing salle begs lingering, it asks only for your silence, for your relaxation,
{I recommend  you place large locks on the door or really obvious signs,no, better yet, let that be a billboard indicating to your family that you are indeed, quite unreachable!!! Now under a blanket of scented mandarin et citron vert bubbles you are rejuvinating ....
And why, can you tell me, is the slipper tub so fascinating? Is it it's shape? It's height? Is it the weight of the cast iron? 

Even in the outdoors, a bath or shower is a place of sunlight and delight...
Though not being the camper kind ,
 lets imagine a bit more luxury and uh,yeah, privacy! ...
Now imagine if you will my delight when sitting in the Ecurie of our Grange,or the barn at ground level tonight when  I heard a dripping sound !!! Yes, I did say delight- read on,because the bathtub up above was leaking during one of the teen's long, too bad! 
I actually loathe my salle de bain and guess what? That little ole' leak means , you guessed it,probably we will need a new tub, and tiles, and lighting ahhh,
 I love when I can truly see a gift within a problem.....let me just go get a bucket!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Serious MD Advice-Take A Walk on the Wild Side

                                                                   photo- unknown 
There has been a fox in the hen house or so it has seemed said the newspapers,TV's and radios...
photo- Cecilie7
However, staying centered in faith, love & compassion WE can fly....
to new heights {Isn't that how the story goes? mine does!!!}

 photo- unknown
In our mind's eye and in our dreams, we can climb to new heights,dressed of course, like this willowy dancer
photo by Tim Walker UKVogue 2005
Mind you in my waking hours ,I have been painting the entry walls of my seemingly ancient french bohemian mini chateau,{breath} the color palette is full of blues and aquas, with a dash of black like the grand photo, it is not mine!  I shall promise though, to take photos soon!

photo-Elle Decor
Care for a café creme? or a glass of local wine or an ice cold Orangina?
If you could have lunch with anybody, alive or deceased...anyone at all, who would it be?
My painting pal asked me this very question today.... lovely!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Benefiting from the Bright Light of Spring without the UV exposure

Whether in a flower filled field by a pond....celebrate!  photo- MarieClaireMaison
photo - Chris Tubbs Photography
Or at dusk, taking in the falling sun, ready to embrace a night of dancing on an expansive lawn with an ocean view like in the Great Gatsby.. but, with a happier ending for sure!!!!
                                                     photo- MarieClaireMaison
perhaps an early day off work meeting your closest friend or sibling with a Perrier and lemon.
photo- HG
or maybe you world fancy  an exotic cabana by the sea, of course, you would want fascinating beach side neighbors who talk loudly about interesting subjects while you wear your large brimmed hat and dark glasses acting like you are not the least bit curious....
photo- credit unknown let me know if you know so I can list it ---thanks
or lastly, you might aspire to a très private beach club with cocktails and lunch served where you and your honey can relax, read and play beach tennis or volley ball....ah, dreaming of the bright sunny days  without the sunburns cuz of course, you have your SPF sunscreen and shade to protect you!!! Have a super Monday dreaming of sunny days to come!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekend prescriptions for a happy outlook !

ok,breath,now close your eyes,listen very ,very closely to the silence,even if it only imagined...

now go somewhere lush, somewhere vibrant as though you are once again a child, innocent and loved....

                                                     painting mariechristine Marty (sold)
this is starting to make the crazy week of negative news fade...and you are open to seeing new                                                                     and beautiful things!!! 
you have been invited to the south of France by a famous artist,known for her brilliant palette which reflects the bright sun, the red earth,the rich wines, the presence of centuries of Spanish,Catalan, Italian, and North African layers of traditions, music,dance,arts, In Marie Christine's Salon there are paintings yielding sunflower yellows,burnt oranges,ochres, suggesting the smell of wild figs,lemons, herbs like thyme, sage,lavenders, 
you are still feeling new , and fresh to these a child of say,4 years old who still can see the auras of angels and the love of the good and the kind beings, those who use their gifts from the heavens,or the powers that be,for positive,for progress,for healing....

                                                   painting mariechristine Marty 
As you grow hungry with all this  ,chocolat fondant is offered by the kind Lady in red....
 painting mariechristine Marty (sold)
she is strong,generous,and feel safe,she is like the woman of the healing stories about wisdom and fairness...sometimes she is perceived as too strong, or too focused,she knows
and appreciates beauty,loving the details and textures of fine things 
she knows, as you do ,life can be a fight,a dance with danger or grace or passion or maybe all three, there is comfort in knowing that many have faced the challenges and that we survive and that we can thrive ....
                                               painting mariechristine Marty -Sang et Or                            
  you are feeling strong,your head is held high, proud,yet with a healthy dose of humility,you are sure to move into the challenges of the tomorrow without hesitation, but rather with faith  and hope.... 
and now you can do a little Irish gig or any other dance for that matter, because you feel grateful and joyous 
 and so safe with the dancing nun!!
Now go spread the joy and hug someone you love!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

8 YEAR OLD WITH LEUKEMIA UP AGAINST AIG’s MORAL COMPASS: plus 7 tools to Deal with Insurers!

Little Jack & his sister Trisha in Paris!

Jack was 8 years old and in the midst of chemotheray treatments when he was awarded a fully paid trip for his family to France’s artistic and sacred places.  He and his family experienced a modern day pilgrimage  afforded by donations in his state and by AIR FRANCE. 

As a precaution along with his two forms of health insurance, medicaid funded BlueCross of Rhode Island and private  Bluecross of Mass, the A NONPROFIT paid for an AIG travel policy to cover for the unlikely event of sudden illness ,transports or hospitalizations.   This seemed like a prudent and worthwhile expense.  

Thus, it was with great dismay when Jack developed a life-threatening case of shingles,  a varicella infection (  this is recurrent or secondary type of chicken pox)  and required hospitalization in DAX ,France,an ambulance transport  with a physician , and hospitlaization at France’s ,Pediatric Cancer Hospital, Hopital Necker in Paris. 

Based on recent corporate behaviors making the front pages of the news worldwide, can you imagine, for a moment how AIG took care of little Jack ? Did they do the right thingbased on their contract? Did they provide standard of care? Or did they look to make a profit? Hum? Read on….

Our nonprofit team was on the overnight train from the southwest of France when Jack’s mom noted a mounting fever as she prepared him for bed. We were required to disembark in the next city, DAX. The city hospital was fabulous and provided a direct admission to the pediatric ward, a pediatrician arrived at near 3am and began the lifesaving, antiviral, IV therapy. During this detour of our pilgrimage to the sacred and artistic sites of France we confronted the following :

                         ps look below for proactive ways to use this experience in positive way!

1.     1.  AIG refused to provide both hospitals with needed documentations of Jack’s coverage

2.        AIG would REFUSE  to make any attempt to pay expenses.  (Hospital Necker was appauld to know that USA ‘s insurers were so willing to leave claims unpaid while their profit margins proved excessive and remarked that this negligent behavior  reflected worse t
han third world nations efforts.
3.       AIG ‘s physician on call at that time refused to supply his own medical/physician escort on the emergency transport.
4.       AIG was noted by the french medical staff to have asked me to serve in that role though they denied this too !
5.       AIG never paid for the ambulance fees ,physician fees nor the hospital fees .


Being the hotheaded patient advocate known to protest, call out the newspapers, and insurers for denied medical care or coverage, I could not let this intentional negligence go unaddressed.  Thus upon my return to the states I contacted AIG and  a conference call ensued with myself,the physician who had been on call, the quality assurance representative and the medical director.


Here is where things really became unbelievable to me!


Rightyou guessed it, they denied any responsibility, the on-call physician lied , and the Medical Director lied- WOW,when I heard this I responded like any naive physician would,

 I asked if they were aware  that this represents a very slippery slope!-like they cared!

How could they  place their profits before their patient obligations?

I asked if they were aware of the impact of their actions in the long haul ?

Were they , in a small way ,by denying their obligations for little Jack , revealing to me and yo themselves,an even the bigger issue-- which was the erosion of their core values and moral obligations?  


Yes, you are right if you think that , they probably thought that I was spitting in the wind, I had no power to change their behavior,though I threatened legal action but, could not afford it.

So was I surprised by their being at the center of the economic meltdown which has infected worldwide economies? No, unfortunately I was not.


The whole situation disappointed ,angered and saddened,and might I say, exhausted me(,mind you I too, was on a monthly chemotherapy and adjevunct treatment for nearly the 4th year at the time!

So as an Ivy League community pediatrician abroad all too familiar with both the clinician side and the patient side, I was livid- that they could dismiss a child's medical care in the same way which they dismissed the Congressional questioning , like the current outrage about the bonuses being paid to their financial leaders( with American tax payers money.)  


Jack is playing HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL now nearly 10 years later.

Seven Proactive Steps for Dealing With Your Insurers 

CARRY A BIG STICK!,no,just kidding!!!

1.        Recognize the system is geared for profit even the nonprofit insurers hence while navigating your medical issues

Do not assume they have your best interest at heart be curious, ask questions,document conversations with names and dates and times to create your health diary of accountability.

2.        Read or highlight the particulars of your policies: copays,hospitalizatons,dates of renewals,age specific allowances for care,

3.        When you do get a bill contact the pharmacy or hospital and ask for the noninsured fees schedules and verify your insurers not milking the payments

4.        When a treatment is denied ask to speak with the medical director not a clerk or data processor, stick with it and take his or her name,

5.        Know most states have Health InsurersOversight committees and if you are not getting help from your insurer then notify them by e-mail or letter.

6.        Call them out when they pass off their decisions on the physicians or medical staff, recall most clinicians( have taken an oath) and studied long hours and withgreat expense and  want to help their patients. They are as frustrated as patients and their families.

7.        Do this in small increments ONLY because it is indeed stressful to have to be an advocate when one is sick or caring for a sick family member.In between breath,have a cup of tea, listen to some soothing music or call a friend!



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Red Dress Heart Health, Madoff Victim and His former Friend

Ageless Beauty
Carmen Dell Orifice featured her in a Red Dress for the Heart Healthy Women's Campaign!

She has been working since nearly 15 years old as a model,as you can see below from her early photos! 
Carmen is particularly fascinating because she defies the norms- she went back to modeling after a divorce as an older model who then broke the barriers of beauty as being only for the young!

 She is considered a Super Model still! Let's face it,  ---Beauty does defy age, race and religion and I personally am happy to see the blissful variety in the media! Especially now with the average life expectancy rising, our lens need to do likewise! 

 I find the taught,pinched faces of the older women redone are not particularly attractive! Yes ,granted it fuels a market for innovative skin care, lasers and plastic surgeries!  I still find the time lined faces of Mother Teresa and Katherine Hepburn to convey a purity  or truth !

Rather than a mask trying to restrain our view upon time and its impact on their  faces I prefer the real insight into their life experiences! I recall my Grandmother at 103.5 years old, sharp as a tac yet, her face wrote a story about the early 1900's immigration from Italy to Riker's Island, the Great Depression, the birth of 9 children, the working in a factory on the shores of New Bedford or Fall River, living along side the American Indians from the region,the long days cooking and cleaning, the marriages of her children ,then the births of grandchildren, and then great, and great great Grandchildren....each line like a badge of honor, a tribute to her world!

Here Carmen defies these standard of the youth !!! 
As,I mentioned I read recently that Carmen and her latest husband,now deceased,  were close family Friends of the notorious Mr. Madoff. I recall the article in Vanity Fair,I believe, citing she bore great financial losses as apparently, many of Madoff's Chosen did. 
She was courageous in her plans to continue working! I hope that she will reap enough for her 3eme age which in the USA, has a reputation for being very costly !

ps It is told that she was a dancer of classical ballet picked off the bus in NYC for her beauty! Have a great Wednesday!!

An Immune Booster-Beauty,Talent and Music,a blast from the Past

These bright colorful photos were featured in Madame Figaro Magazine made to share- cheerful,creative talent!!! 

 Viola-Catherine Malandrino avec un peu de Americana -
On behalf of a fellow blogger-I found myself groov 'in out to some Old Tunes! 

Friday's Dose of fun and facts

I so adore this man- brilliant political satire! so does Corine at Hidden In France

And oddly enough ,I was working on a simplistic visual representation of the Financial Meltdown and viola, look at what Corine discovered! Amazing!

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

VITAL SIGNS PLEASE for Child Actors of Slumdog Millionaire!

We were all thrilled to celebrate the modern day beautiful "rag to riches" Oscar winner (x8)!!
It captured the world's imagination during this global period of economic crisis ,I believe, because it highlighted that love was the real prize,not the money or the illusions of living a rich lifestyle, or of obtaining power!
Underneath the celluloid tale,(ok maybe films are no longer made like this, I am not that old-seriously folks!!) Oh right, where was I, yes, underlying the Hollywood/Bollywood creation is the reality of these children's lives!??!

First photo presents little Rubina giving an interview prior to leaving for the Oscars.
check out the women's looks! oouch!

 This second photo shows their joy and anticipation en route out of Mumbai 
Of course , in LA at the Oscars, looking very westernized indeed,yet loving it!

Below, fatigue and intense emotions upon Rubina's return to Mumbai!

Their reactions returning home to the slums and to their families were concerning as described in The UK's Telegraph publication  By Barney Henderson in Mumbai Last Updated: 2:23PM GMT 01 Mar 2009

"Having flown in a plane, slept in a soft bed and used a clean and functioning bathroom for the first time in their lives at a five-star hotel, the kids say they have now realised what life is like on the other side of the coin and the reality of being back in the slum is hitting them hard."

"I don't want to live here in the slum anymore," Rubina said, wearing the dirt stained ball gown that she has not wanted to take off since Oscars night. "I don't want to sleep on the floor anymore. I want a proper bed and live where the air does not smell of poo. I have seen what it is like in America. Here, there is garbage everywhere, people get angry, swear and shout. I have realised how bad life is here. I just want to get out."

further photos upon their return to the slums

At school exhausted, Azhar is looking confused and as a pediatrician I would say he is not appearing well--- actually as became clear later, he developed a fever of 103° and required antibiotics for an illness as defined by a local doctor!

Rubina settling in ?!
Further excerpts from the Telegraph article cited above:

Social workers have called for the children to be placed in care and state that they need to be given protection – either from Danny Boyle and the film production company or the Indian authorities.

"I cannot believe these kids have just been left like this after being taken to Hollywood. It is bound to affect them psychologically," said social worker Sanjay Bhatia, who works in the slum.

India's Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhary is "appalled" at the beating that Azhar took at the hands of his father on Friday. Azhar was thrashed for saying he wanted to sleep rather than talk to a journalist who had offered money to his father.

It is my prayer that these children can find peace and hope and can use this experience in a positive way, though I imagine it will place pressures on them to support their families financially 
  • - I wondered as a child and also as an adult if people who are poor are made to feel worse when they obtain a point of comparison---does one miss what one does not know? or experience? 
  • -does not a child within the Indian family unit find comfort,like all children, from their shared meals, from the banter of neighbors and friends, from the love of their parents? 
  • -has modern life equiped with global communications, TV, radios brought the harshness of these comparisons into a more acute focus?  

I do not doubt for a second that the life within these slums is difficult,dangerous and does not offer its inhabitants an easy way to optimize their personal potentials- why? I believe perhaps, they are too burdened with the primary issues of survival ( I call this the strain of survival mode)where there is more fatigue and potentially illness!

 In any case, I hope you will join me in sending them good vibs ,thoughts or prayers !! What are your take about this issue ? 
photos credits - click on them for the URL's