November 2003 Vol. 3 Issue 13
An Internet Newsletter publication for all CIM Alumni and friends.
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.
Ma. Belen Rosales, M.D.
Ray Castillejo, M.D.
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., CIM 1972
A life of value
One big reason why many human relationships don’t grow, let alone last, is not because of the lack of love, but it’s actually because of the lack of understanding between individuals involved. It's difficult, if not impossible, to be honest and fair in our opinion and judgment if our understanding of someone or of a certain situation is lacking. And it's not easy to love someone we don't understand. Suffice it to say, there are childish behaviors that we would want to grow out of like being self-centered, self-indulgent, and having the need to be the center of attention. Yet whether we are aware of it or not, we haven't really outgrown these behaviors. All too often our first concern is ourselves and our personal gratification. We want to be understood instead of to understand, to be loved rather than to love.
So for you to understand better, you've got to seek the truth and keep your mind open by admitting everything for thoughtful analysis, not rejecting things simply because you don't want to hear them. It's the only way you can make judgment on rational basis, not on assumptions and biases. If you make judgment on the basis of your own opinion but with the lack of understanding and truth, you become judgmental, and soon many of your judgments would be fueled with high negative energy. You would make a person bad and then try to convince others that your opinion is right about that person. The element of human compassion is completely eliminated.
Meteorologists tell us that a fog capable of covering half a square mile is made up of only one glass of water, divided into 60 million particles. But when it settles, it can obscure your entire vision. A bias or a prejudice can do the same thing. With prejudice, your mind is already made up about a person or a certain situation and you no longer want to hear what could be the truth. Thus you won’t be able to see the entire picture or the real situation.
Another thing to do to value others' lives is to consider friendship as precious and necessary. But there is always that nagging fear and concern of what potential friends would think of us and how they would treat us once they got to know us. Another concern is whether our friends could really be trusted with our secrets, let alone our spouse. We could also risk our vulnerability. So to shut out our worry and anxiety, we develop barriers or defenses in the form of unfriendly or unaccommodating behavior. But these barriers also sealed us off from fun, loving feelings, understanding and support - all the good things that flow from closeness with others. These barriers or defenses make us value others’ lives less.
Friends, to enrich our lives
Many of what we call friends don't really like us for whatever reason. But whether or not they are true good friends, every one of them has something to offer, something we can learn from. Friends are special to our growth. Endowed with different qualities, they enrich our lives. In fact, it's because of what I've learned from my experiences with different kinds of friends that I have been able to understand better and write about human life, personalities and behaviors. We can learn even from those who dislike us that there are aspects about our behavior or personality that some people just won't like. We don't need to struggle just to make them like us. But if we look at it in a more positive way, those who don't like us or those who dislike us actually make us appreciate more those who are unquestionably good friends and are special to us.
We always hear every one saying that dogs are man's best friends. Indeed they are, because dogs are always there for us and expect nothing in return. They are always happy to see you home while even your own spouse would sometimes snarl or snap at you coming home tired from work. “Honey! I’m home.” Somewhere in the house cried a command: “Remove your shoes! I just cleaned the carpet.” The carpet is more important than you. But does your spouse understand this? Or, coming home late and tired from work, your spouse gets suspicious: “Where have you been? Why don’t you just sleep somewhere?” A dog, no matter how late you come home, is always there wagging his or her tail happy to see you and ready to lick your face just to let you know that no matter what happens, he or she would always adore you.
The importance of friends
Finding a true good friend is not easy, not because there isn't one out there for us to find, but mainly because we often imagine that there are ideal friends out there if we can only find them. It's an unrealistic expectation, a fantasy, like looking for the perfect Mr. or Miss Right. People come in many varieties but perfect is never one of them. We need to remind ourselves that to have a friend, we need to be a friend. A good Italian friend told me once: "Friends are blessings. The more we treat them like blessings, the more friends we'll be blessed with."
What are missing in many people's lives are friends. It’s one reason why loneliness has become the universal sadness of mankind. Many people starve themselves of friends all because of the doubt and assumption that they could not find a friend they could trust. But if we make ourselves trustworthy, we should be able to find friends we could trust. Of course, we can always insist that we are fine just the way we are and thus there is no need for friends. But having friends to share stories and jokes with, and laugh together is therapeutic. It eases tension and it gives us something to look forward to. Without friends to share our feelings with, we'd miss the fun and joy in life.
We may have believed that only we could solve our problems, satisfy our needs and be happy. Of course, there are things that only we can do for our physical, emotional and spiritual needs or health like exercise, prayers, meditation, eating healthy food, etc. Yet there are needs we cannot take care of by ourselves alone like solving all our problems, comforting ourselves, feeling loved and cared for, developing closeness with others, and sharing our feelings with others. We cannot laugh by ourselves and enjoy the sound of our laughter. We cannot look at ourselves in the mirror and enjoy our smile all the time. We can drink beers and enjoy its taste and tipsy effect while watching the football game, but it’s always different and more enjoyable drinking in the company of friends. Thus to make our life balanced, more enjoyable and more fun, we need others, and we need friends.
Friendship, what is it about?
The give-and-take of feelings, ideas, dreams, and experiences; the sharing of stories, jokes and laughter; and the sharing and experiencing another person's joy and happiness are what constitute friendship, or what friendship is all about. Our emotional well-being is enhanced each time we share and reveal a lot about ourselves with our friends. Real good friends can make your life rich through this mutual give-and-take. This doesn’t mean that along the hand that gives, there is a claw that takes it back. Good friends are happy with your success and achievements. They rejoice in your right to grow, even if it means that you grow away from them. And even if it means that you may end up singing, "There ain't no sunshine when she's gone…."
On many occasions, many people go to their friend to seek for ideas, advice or opinion. Unfortunately, when a friend's opinion or advice is not the kind that they would rather hear or have, they get disappointed and even upset. It’s because what they are really seeking is approval, not advice, and they expect their friend to concur with them. When a friend's opinion differs, and particularly when a friend offers or suggests a correction, it would often be enough to initiate a struggle of who’s right and who’s wrong. Then egos would become bruised and the relationship lacerated.
Indeed many of us can’t handle a correction or an opinion from anyone, much less from a friend, that opposes what we have about a certain subject. All too often we would consider correction as rejection, we take offense, or we get defensive. Or we do all three of them – rejection, taking offense, and being defensive. A correction or an opinion that is unfavorable particularly from a friend, easily becomes an ego challenge or an ego competition like "I'm better than you are, and why should I believe you?" But the fact of the matter is, we need a friend who is honest with us, for oftentimes we are too easily blinded by our pride or ego when confronted with something that may indicate we could be wrong.
A poison to friendship
Friendship should never be taken as a vehicle for control, but for freedom. It should not be considered as a means to use or take advantage of one another, but as a means to help each other grow, succeed or survive. Friends help friends settle with the feeling that mistakes are not the end of the world. They provide each other a source of comfort that oftentimes would help them gain confidence to deal with bigger problems. Knowing that our friends have faith in us strengthen our faith in ourselves. Knowing that our friends stand by us gives us the courage to move on.
Certainly, occasional strain and friction are inevitable in any relationship. But they should not come from jealousy. Jealousy is the mortal enemy of friendship, a poison that is fatal to the relationship. People who are jealous are people who are habitually comparing themselves with others. Jealousy makes it impossible to have friends. We can't be much of a friend if our friend's happiness, success or achievement is threatening to us. The relationship would only lead to suspicion and betrayal. While envy and jealousy betray and break friendship sooner or later, trust and respect sustain and strengthen it. The common denominator of envy and jealousy is hate. The underlying factor that cements trust and respect is love.
Indeed it may not always be easy to be happy for what a friend gets or is given. It's not always easy to deal with what a friend has achieved that is a lot more than we have or a lot more than we expected our friend to have. We sometimes find ourselves envious or jealous over the achievement, luck and fortunes of a friend. But we should not allow such feeling to build in such a way that we may only harbor a secret desire to see a friend fail in some small way. It would only build a wall of tension between our friend and us.
In friendship, as in all other human relationships, there are no more important commodities than trust and respect if the relationship is to last. And there are no more destructive commodities that would end the relationship often in the most unpleasant way than envy and jealousy. Lasting relationship is a result of learning to like each other through mutual effort over a certain period of time. Envy and jealousy undermine and sabotage that effort.
Another reason why a real good friend is not easy to find is because people are too busy protecting their privacy, secrets and desires, and the last thing they want is someone to know about them. Nevertheless openness is actually the best way not just of maintaining good friendly relationship but also of living peacefully as well. When you're being open, you have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Your emotions flow in all directions. When you locked away secrets you don't want uncovered all because you believe that they are shameful and embarrassing, or you believe they would make you lose the respect of others, your emotions are also locked, stocked and barreled with those secrets. Your emotional well-being is intimidated and controlled by them.
George Coleman said: "I vow and protest there's more plague than pleasure with a secret." Secrets weigh you down. They are a major source of stress. By keeping them inside, they'd grow into monsters that would only frighten you or at least make you uncomfortable. What lives in the dark grows in the dark. But when you expose them to the light or reveal them to your friends or to someone you trust, even the most dreadful secrets lose their power to frighten you. Especially when you find humor in revealing them, you would feel like the weight you've been carrying for a while had been lifted off you. Further, when we keep secrets from being uncovered, we often have to keep our distance from our friends. There is no feeling of real closeness, and no real fun. There are only fear, doubts, suspicions and paranoia.
Remember the ancient story of a barber who discovered that his king has horns? He had a hard time keeping the secret because revealing it would mean his death. So he dug a hole in the ground to whisper his secret into it every night. Out of the hole, a whispering willow tree grew and every time the wind blew, the tree would whisper it loud: "The king has horns!"
Well, you don't need to dig a hole for your secret. Just don't be afraid to make friends. Good friends are trustworthy and they don't reveal your secrets if you don't want them to. They are willing to serve as the outlets of your emotions by listening to you. But don't take your friends for granted. Treat them the way you treat yourself. And, by the way, the best way to worship God is to love your friends and family.
On behalf of the Brain Waves Staff, our thanks and gratitude to you, our readers, for hanging on to us. Speaking for myself, it’s your continued enthusiasm I believe it is, of reading our newsletter that keeps me going. It's the best gift I'd prefer to have anytime - the knowledge that after two years, there are still many of you reading Brain Waves, both CIM alumni and CIM friends.
For the first time since I started sending e-mail notification and messages to every one, in the past six months, I only have to delete from the e-mail list four e-mail addresses that constantly returned my messages because of fatal error and another four because their account is constantly over the quota. And for the first time in about eight months straight, nobody has requested to have his/her address removed while there have been few new ones who requested to be included.
I hope Brain Waves have made some difference in your life, sharpened your mind and enriched your life perhaps. Your enthusiasm has enriched mine. For what it's worth, observational study in about 470 adults aged 75 years and above without Alzheimer's disease, senility or dementia, has found that in almost all of these individuals, reading is one of their main leisure activities, more so since they retired. But there is really no evidence that keeping your mind sharp would prevent senility, but it could delay it. At any rate, if you've been reading Brain Waves, you are ahead of the game in sharpening the mind. But then, Bill Cosby tells us what his grandfather used to say: "Don't worry about senility. When it hits you, you won't know it."
From all of us in Brain Waves, to all of you: Wishing you and your family a wonderful dinner together on Thanksgiving Day! God formed the sea and filled it with fish. He formed the air and filled it with birds. One of those birds is the turkey. Enjoy the turkey. But whatever food is on your dinner table, enjoy it as a way of being genuinely grateful for God's blessings.
The coming ASOCIMAI fund-raising event
Mercedes Benz SLK 230 Raffle!
The Mercedes Benz SLK 230 raffle that hit a snag last year will now go on during our alumni reunion in Philadelphia next year 2004. Raffle tickets are now available complete with stubs bearing your name, address and phone numbers so we can contact and notify you to claim your prize if Lady Luck falls for you. Each ticket is $200 and the maximum number of tickets to sell is 500; the minimum is 300. If we are unable to sell the minimum number of tickets, we'll have to cancel the raffle. But we are optimistic that we can do it particularly if most of the alumni would at least purchase one ticket. Now if you win the jackpot, you have the choice between a cool car and a cold cash. If you opt for the cash, it will be $30,000. If you opt for the car, you'll have to pay Uncle Sam his tong from your own wallet.
You can purchase the ticket now either from our ASOCIMAI web site or from any of the members of the Board. You don't have to be from CIM to buy a ticket and enter the raffle. It's for every one who wants to flirt with Lady Luck and take the chance. And of course, you don't have to be from CIM to have a date with Lady Luck and comes home with a new Mercedez or with a pocket full of cash. Finally, you don't have to come to our alumni reunion to win any of the prizes. We'll contact you when you win a prize because there are many other prizes like a vacation for two in Hawaii, Disneyworld, elegant and gorgeous jewelry, etc, and perhaps a year supply of one of the new longlasting Viagra-like drugs and a set of tong bikinis for women. Just kidding. But you've got to present the stub of your ticket to claim the prize. No stub, no prize.
You may ask: "Is a $200-ticket worth it?" To be honest, I have to say: "I don't know." But if you're a gambler, then you know that the odds of winning are a whole lot better than any of the casinos you've been into and being fleeced, or the lottery you've been playing for years and still waiting to hit the jackpot, wishing for an early retirement. If you're not a gambler, then what you're basically doing is donating money for a worthy cause because our association will use that money to meet or fulfill its charitable objectives as a Foundation.
Why the raffle?
As had been mentioned few times in the past editions of Brain Waves, our alumni association is a Foundation, has been in the past three or four years. It was planned, designed, applied for, approved and established that way, of which one of the main reasons is to provide tax advantages for its members with the hope that if members can deduct their membership fee and donations from their tax return, they would be more motivated to participate and donate funds for the Foundation. But there is a catch. The Foundation is obligated to fulfill its charitable objectives in order to keep its tax advantages.
The problem is that many alumni have not been paying their yearly dues regularly and many more have not been paying at all, let alone have participated in our association's reunion activities like the CME which is another good source of fund for the association. These sources of fund, the membership dues and the CME activities, could no longer be relied upon in ensuring the continued fulfillment of our association's charitable objectives. Another excellent source of fund is the utilization of Mr. Matson's company's financial services for members to establish their own foundation through ASOCIMAI and have tremendous tax advantages. This kind of arrangement would benefit the association by giving some of your tax money to the ASOCIMAI Foundation instead of to Uncle Sam. It would become a constant source of funds for the Foundation, not to mention that your retirement funds are safe with these services and have stellar returns depending on the kind of investments you choose. The risk is minimal and even negligible. But only a couple of members have utilized these services so far.
It's not that we, in the leadership, blame the non-participating or non-paying alumni for our association's only modest financial situation, because we really don't, .. well,.. may be some of us blame them just a little bit. But the main thing is that we, in the leadership, have got to do something to keep our association from having any chance at all of sliding into any financial black hole and be unable to fulfill its charitable objectives. To put it in another way, we don't want the ship we are navigating to stall and start taking water. It is human nature that when a ship starts taking water, many would abandon it and jump, instead of heading for the pumps. It is also human nature that when the ship is moving smoothly and things are in great shape, many would want to come aboard and participate. Well, we, in the leadership, believe that it's only with more funds or more money that we'd be able to keep things in great shape and make our association look great. Thus we've got to raise some funds and that's how the raffle idea came upon.
A cycle to break
We understand that if we have nothing much to show for in our association particularly when it comes to sponsorship on scholarship and other charitable programs, many of the alumni would be very reluctant to open up their checkbook and write a check for their membership dues, let alone make a donation. We know from experience that there are alumni who would attend the reunion and its program activities, but would not pay their yearly dues. This is an exception, not the rule, but a good enough indication that we've got to do something.
Since our association doesn't have that much money, then it doesn't have that much to show for. In any event, we are hoping that many of the alumni would be more willing to buy a raffle ticket with a chance of winning something tangible than making some money donation and even perhaps than paying their yearly dues. If we are successful in our raffle, then we may be able to break the cycle of nothing-much-to-show-for-and-members-are-reluctant-to-join-or-participate, by being able to do more and show more. We want very much for our association to become more enticing so that many alumni would come aboard and have some fun with every one, and the cycle of more funds and progress would be firmly established. More to show for, however, doesn't necessarily translate to more alumni participation.
Thus realistically, we could never know what's in the mind of the majority of the alumni, what they would want us to do to make them join and participate. We could only wish they would make suggestions, express their disappointments, give their no-hold-bar criticisms and comments, and open themselves up to pour out their gripes and grudges if they have any. To me, it's the only way of knowing what needs be done to recover the enthusiasm of camaraderie that the alumni once used to have and somehow faded away.
But the problem is that we all seem to have the tendency to react to criticisms and negative comments by being defensive or taking offense. Criticisms readily make us shot back with intimidations and angry if not accusing and blaming words, so that instead of clarifying things and understanding the situation, we often end up trading blames and accusations. We should remind ourselves every now and then of the Native American fable about the sun and the wind that got into an argument one day over which was the stronger. When a traveler came down the road, they decided to settle it by seeing who could force him to take off his coat.
So the sun hid behind a cloud and the wind blasted the traveler, but that just made him wrap his coat around him more tightly. Then the sun came out with its gentle caressing warmth and shone on him - and the traveler was forced to take his coat off.
Intimidations and angry words would only make others withdraw, shrivel or shut down, especially if they're already insecure. Others whose egos are badly bruised would choose fight instead of flight and the obvious results are that feelings are hurt and grudges develop and grow. Angry words only confirm our worst fears and opinions about ourselves. All too often anger comes from fear and intimidation comes from insecurity. We need gracious words to help us open up each other, understand each other better, and have peaceful and friendly relationship.
A legitimate question or concern
Incidentally, with all the financial scandals in Wall Street we've been saturated with in these day and age like the Enron, WorldCom, Health South, Prudential, etc., it's perfectly normal for any member of an association to doubt or become suspicious of what that association has done with the money if that association has nothing much to show for it. Few of the alumni have asked about what was done with the funds of our association in the past. Indeed it's a perfectly legitimate question or concern. Unfortunately, I have not been able to answer them or I could not provide a legitimate answer because I was not there. I was not part of the leadership. But it has been customary for the officers of our association in every business meeting during our yearly reunion to discuss the association's financial status - income and expenses, or assets and liabilities. The answer to that question should have been there.
I hate to say it but personally, I don't give a hoot about the past. I am not interested in what our association did or did not do in the past. I am only interested in what can I do and how can I help now to take our association into the future and achieve the glory it deserves.
So, instead of asking for an outright donation, we're offering you prizes for your money, both material and spiritual. If you win the material, you actually win both, for by simply participating, you have already won the spiritual - a comforting feeling of having the opportunity of giving back by supporting our association in its charitable objectives. Either way, it's a win-win situation. So why not open your checkbook, write a check for $200 pay to the order of: ASOCIMAI, and send it to any of the members of the Board. Or, get your credit card and go online in our ASOCIMAI web site. If you prefer, I can send you the ticket and then I'll hold my breath until I receive your check.
Our thanks in advance for your participation in our raffle.
Narciso Tapia, M.D.
CIM Class 2001
I remember him during my Medtech years as the man who brings the materials for autopsy and assists the pathologists during the autopsy itself. Back then, I even thought he was a pathologist.
In CIM, he focuses tissue slides in the microscope and he knows like a pathologist how each disease looks like microscopically. He is an icon of hard work. Ever energetic, very industrious, very dedicated. He can still run up and down the stairs and yes he is 70 but he does not look like one. He is Max Ganar, Sir Max Ganar to some or plain Sir Max of the Department of Pathology. A good father, friend and employee. A model for us all. Last November 3, he turned 70 meaning he will retire from CIM after decades of service. Without Sir Max around, the Pathology laboratory exercises will not run smoothly and we as graduates of CIM owe a lot from him.
Let us send our notes of thanks to Sir Max in appreciation of what he has done for us. You can send him your email of thanks thru Dr. Tapia's email at email@example.com It will be a perfect retirement and birthday present for him.
PRAYER FOR OUR COUNTRY
Lord please heal our land.
In this time of crisis in our country, enlighten our leaders, our Congressmen and Senators, that they set aside their political ambitions and selfish motives and do what is best for our country.
We pray for peace, unity and justice to reign.
We also pray for our countrymen, that they choose this coming elections, God-fearing and dedicated leaders, who are not greedy for money and power but rather leaders who can stir this nation free from the grip of corruption, hatred and selfishness. That these choices be made not based on popularity but based on who truly loves the country.
This we ask in Jesus Name. Amen.
(I ask our fellow Filipinos in the States, still Filipinos by heart, to pray for us back home that we can get out of the mess our country is in, brought about by self-serving politicians who continue to create division and disturbance instead of fulfilling their duties to their countrymen.)
If you are interested to know at least some of the class hot spots in the Philippines, you may want to read the weekly Saturday column of Bobby Zozobrado on this web site:www.manilastandardonline.com. When you get into this web site, click on the Archives at the bottom of the page and then on any Saturday starting November 1, 2003, and then click on Good Life. You can have an idea what, where and how the rich in the Philippines, not the politicians, spend their money. "Oh, the good life, full of fun....."
Depression in elderly. This information is courtesy of Mark D. Miller, M.D., associate professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh. Depression in older patients is underdiagnosed. The elderly are more likely to complain of aches and pains than to present classic symptoms of depression. Doctors and patients alike are more likely to dismiss the complaints as part of the natural aging process. The reality is, when symptoms have no obvious cause, depression may be the correct diagnosis. If you know an older person with multiple physical complaints whose cause doctors can't find, urge him/her to be screened for depression.
Prostate cancer risk. From the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Michael Leitzmann, M.D., DrPH., in his study of 46,974 men, warns that men who took more than 100 milligrams of Zinc, a popular preventive mineral for colds and also found in many vitamin-mineral preparations, daily for 10 or more years were more than twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than men who took no supplementary zinc. The recommended dietary allowance is only 11 milligrams a day.
Coronary Angioplasty. This is a procedure in which a catheter is inserted into the coronary artery to remove the blockade so the blood flow can be restored. It is successful in about 50% of the time. But according to Robert K. Strumpf, M.D., director, interventional cardiology, Arizona Heart Institute and Hospital, Phoenix, the new catheter - Frontrunner from LuMend, Inc. - was successful in clearing blockade in 75% of patients at one heart institute. The FDA-approved Frontrunner has a jaw-like projection at the front. It is inserted into a blocked artery, and the jaws break open the blockade. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes.
Weight-conscious beer drinkers. All light beers are low in carbohydrates, but you should focus on calorie content, not on carbohydrate count. About 80% of calories in light beer come from alcohol. Light beer averages 27 calories per eight ounces. Regular beer averages 45 calories. Non-alcoholic beer averages 16 calories.
From Reverend Z. Ann Schmidt, director of pastoral care and hospice chaplain, Stamford Health System, Stamford, Connecticut. Terminally ill loved one. When a loved one is terminally ill, the best thing you can do is to help him/her live fully until he/she dies. A patient sometimes outlives his prognosis or even has a time of stability or improvement when his pain is managed and he feels well supported. Instead of encouraging unrealistic hopes of recovery, follow the patient's lead and help him to be more comfortable physically, emotionally and spiritually. Remember that a person coming to the end of his life has the same loves - family, opera, baseball, etc., - as before he was sick. Assure him that you care about him. Listen when he wants to talk, even about death. When he says that this may be the last holiday or visit, tell him that you will always remember him and the special times you shared. Assure him that those closest to him will carry on, commitments will be honored, memories cherished and love continued.
From - Superdog: Raising the Perfect Canine Companion by Michael Fox, DVM. Having a second dog can help both animals live longer, healthier lives. Two dogs together can do more pack-like activities - an important part of their genetic programming. They can spend more time playing, grooming and exploring - leading to physical and psychological benefits, better dispositions and possibly longer lives.
From - Twisted Whiskers: Solving Your Cat's Behavior Problems by Pam Johnson, feline behavior consultant, Nashville. Good treats for cats: Brewer's yeast tablets - give one to reward good behavior. Also attractive - Cantaloupe balls, raw green beans and grapes. Many cats like to eat them ... most like to play with them. Good dairy treat - Plain, unflavored yogurt. Treats to avoid - Table scraps, sweets, bones. All can be dangerous to a cat's health.
From Joni Rodgers, author of the memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair. Joni Rodgers, a drama teacher who, in 1994, at 32 years old with two children was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. She underwent a grueling course of chemotherapy treatments. Here are few of what she said:
Enjoy Your Pleasures
You are not wasting your time when you watch TV, sleep late or otherwise do nothing. Wasting time is when you are not loving someone or not enjoying your life. I have discovered how to take pleasure in the simplest things. Even when I am sitting quietly or taking a long drive, there is always something interesting to look at or think about.
We waste a lot of time and energy harboring grudges.
Take Comfort in Prayer
Many people think they don't know how to pray. Just think of God as a great river that runs through the universe. The idea of prayer is not to pull God out of the stream but to put yourself into the stream with God.
From The Medical Marriage: A Couple's Survival Guide by Wayne Sotile, PhD, codirector, Sotile Psychological Associates, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Spouses grow in different ways. Because you are two unique individuals, you will mature and progress at different rates and in different areas. It is important to accept the process and realize that it is not a condemnation of you when your spouse goes off in new directions. Hopefully, you will find each other more interesting as you have new experiences. And accept the limits of your ability to change your partner.
A wife was watching the television news and said to her husband: "Did you hear that? A man in Baltimore swapped his wife for a season ticket to Colt's games. Would you do a thing like that?"
"Heck, no. The season's half over!"
A football fan had a lousy seat at the stadium, offering a really bad view. But through his binoculars he spotted an empty seat on the 50-yard line and so he made his way there. When he got there, he asked the man in the next seat whether the empty seat was taken.
"This is my wife's seat," he replied solemnly. "She passed away. She was a big Packers' fan."
"I'm terribly sorry to hear of your sad loss. May I ask why you didn't give the ticket to a friend or a relative?"
"They're all at the funeral."
A college football coach addressed a newcomer to the team and said: "Look, I know I'm not supposed to let you play since you failed Math, but we really need you on the team. I'm gonna do a deal with you: If you can answer one simple Math question, you can play. Okay?"
The newcommer nodded.
"Right," said the coach. "What's two plus two?"
The new boy thought for a moment and answered: "Four."
Before the coach could say anything, the rest of the team started screaming: "Oh come on, coach, give him another chance."
A man went into a store to buy some condoms. "That's 1 dollar 15 plus tax," said the store assistant.
"I don't need tacks," said the man. "It'll stay up by itself."
From where I sat, in the audience of a crowded, dimly-lit auditorium, I had nothing but admiration for this elegantly-dressed, highly educated, very articulate emotionally depleted woman, on the podium, who had the guts to bare her soul, without shame, to a room-full of strangers. It took a whole lot of inner strength for this admirable human being to tell the world that, after 27 years, she has become finally free… free from the bondage of a relationship, that started as a happy one, consummated in a fairy-tale wedding, soured in the intervening years by physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Spouse abuse, as it is called in layman’s language, is not a 20th century or a 21st century phenomenon. It is as old as history itself. For much of history and throughout the world, social and cultural traditions have tolerated, if not promoted, assault of women by men. In medieval England, a husband could not be prosecuted for sexual assault of a wife, because its law provided that a wife could not refuse consent for sex to her husband. In ancient Rome, the husband could physically punish, or even kill his wife for behaviors that were not permitted by the husband. In ancient times, they called it chastisement – the punishment of wives which emphasized the corrective purpose, and minimized the violent nature of such an action. The same is pretty much true in Asia and in the Middle East.
It is true that, since the 19th century, the status of women has improved, and women have acquired greater and political rights. In the early 70’s, attitudes toward spouse abuse have shifted, campaigns to raise public awareness have increased and laws have been changed. Whereas 30 years ago spouse abuse was largely considered a private matter, today it is widely recognized as a harmful health and social problem.
Domestic violence is a widespread problem. However, it is extremely difficult to measure its actual extent. Data based on official documents do not reflect its prevalence, because for a variety of reasons, victims fail to report violence that occurs with an intimate partner. There is no single factor that explains why assault and abuse happen between two partners. It is a combination of societal, cultural and economic influences. It is not true that domestic abuse happens in low income families only, because it, also, happens in all economic levels of society. In a society where economic and social processes operate directly or indirectly to a male-dominated family structure, abuse is associated with the subordination and oppression of women, which often contributes to lower economic status for women, which may make women dependent on men. This dependence increases the likelihood of women becoming more entangled in the abusive relationship, which really limits the victim’s ability to leave such a relationship. People who are dependent on their partners emotionally and economically learn to endure abuse with the silent hopefulness that the abusive partner will eventually change.
The physical injuries can heal over time, but the psychological and emotional scars remain etched in one’s psyche to haunt one’s quiet existence every so often. A woman who believes that ending a relationship or a marriage represents a personal failure is less likely to leave an abusive relationship.
That being said, I reflect very sadly on the victims of violence. And it has really brought me closer to home. My favorite niece was a victim of domestic abuse. Raised in a very upscale environment, and educated with the best that money can buy, one would never suspect that she could be a victim of abuse. Immediate members of her family, including myself, were totally unaware that she was living in such an environment for eight years until, one day, she packed up her bags, took her young children with her, left her abusive spouse and never looked back. Today, four years after that fateful day, she inaugurated the opening of her bakeshop and has entered the world of the young entrepreneurs.
From where I sit, in my office, these past several years, I have seen faces of these women. Most of them did something about it but never did get very far, and went back to the abusive relationship. A good number of them did not do anything about it, as they created the sense of female responsibility for the maintenance of the family, and remained in such environment. A very few of them did not remain passive and fought back.
I tip my hat to the woman on the podium, to my favorite niece and to the very few women who did everything they could, took everything they’ve got and stood tall.
After all, it takes a lot of character and courage to be free.
Viagra Alternative Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
This drug is marketed by BAYER and GLAXOSMITHKLINE and its generic name is vardenafil. Like Viagra, it is classified as phosphodiesterase-5 or PDE-5 inhibitor and works by correcting a chemical imbalance in the penis that causes ED in men. It is the newest FDA approved treatment for ED. When a man is sexually excited the brain triggers the release of chemicals in the penis that begins a complex chain of events leading to erection. When these chemicals become unbalanced for a variety of reasons, ED will occur. Levitra helps the process by ensuring the proper levels of these naturally occurring chemicals will be present to complete the erection. The drug is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets taken as needed, no more than once a day.
This drug is at present available only in UK and other EU countries and is said to be available in the U.S. early next year. It is marketed by Elli Lilly and Icos, a generic name tadalafil, available in 10 mg and 20 mg tablets. Like Viagra and Levitra, it is classified as PDE-5 inhibitor. And just like Viagra and Levitra, sexual stimulation is needed for it to work. But unlike Viagra and Levitra, the efficacy of Cialis according to the European label may persist up to 24 hours after the pill is taken. In Australia, the label indicates efficacy up to 36 hours. So women, watch out!
Comparison of the three ED drugs:
How long it works: Up to 24 hours.
Recommended time to take before sex: 30 minutes to 12 hours.
Most common side effects: Headache, upset stomach, back pain.
How long it works: Up to 5 hours.
Recommended time to take before sex: 25 to 60 minutes.
Most common side effects: Headache, facial flushing.
How long it works: Up to 4.5-5 hours.
Recommended time to take before sex: 60 minutes.
Most common side effects: Headache, facial flushing, altered or blueish vision.
All the ED drugs should not be taken by men taking nitrate drugs like nitroglycerin for chest pain, alpha-blockers for hypertension and prostate problems because these drugs could cause a sudden drop of blood pressure to an unsafe level.
Sources: J.P. Morgan, European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. For more information, go to the following Web sites: http://www.levitra.com and http://www.cialisnews.com