Tag Archives: New Orleans

A Whole Heap of Goodness on Healing Ties Radio


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy

If you are like me and million of others, you have a life long dream, a passion that you want to follow? Then join us on Wednesday, December 10th at 7 pm EST on Health Cafe LIVE for a conversation with Author, TV Chef, and Entrepreneur Chad Thilborger for a conversation about living your dream. Chad is not only living his dream, Chad is changing lives and creating ‘Healing Ties’ all around us! And Chad just might have a few recipe tips and home business ideas to share with us on Wednesday! This is A Whole Heap of Goodness you don’t want to miss!
Can’t listen live…NO WORRIES! Healing Ties is On Demand on iHeart Radio by clicking here! 

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Advocacy Heals U: Healing Ties of Change


Recently I had the opportunity to be a guest on Joni Aldrich show, “Advocacy Heals U”, which is now featured on iHeart Radio.  Joni is an accomplished author, radio show host, public speaker, but most importantly, Joni has been a caregiver for her husband, Gordon, who like Richard, passed away from Cancer.
22958786 Connecting with Joni has been a pleasure and sure proves that Caregivers, no matter what their journey might be, have this innate ability to understand each other, to be there for each other, to care for each other.  Joni has been that connection for me.   As Joni so eloquently wrote: “Love radiates through this show. Love of a partner for a partner through life, illness and difficult loss. “To love someone is to see the face of God.” Guest: Chris MacLellan, The Bow-Tie-Guy. Chris loved Richard Schiffer through the twists and turns of life and Richard’s end-of-life. Experience IS the most brutal of teachers. But you heal. Chris’s new show, Healing Ties, will discuss 4 aspects interwoven in hope: physical, mental, spiritual, financial. While his focus is on caregivers, the message is much deeper. Why are health care rights connected to marriage rights? In many states, gay couples do not have that option. Love can move mountains, but can it break down walls?”

To listen to our show, simply click here! 

To learn more about Joni Aldrich simply click here!

Approaching six months after Richard’s transition into eternal life, my life continues to transition.  I’ve made the decision to leave my job with Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 2.30.41 PMSunServe Social Services and start to write our story through my own words.  I’ll be heading over to New Orléans to write, spend time healing and starting my new radio show, ‘Healing Ties’ from ‘The Bow Tie Guy.’  Stay tuned to ‘The Purple Jacket’ for the launch date of my new show which will be featured on W4HC.com and iheart Radio.

Remember:  “Love, Care and Commitment is the same for any two people, no matter what gender.”  Make your day count, never pass up the opportunity to tell your spouse or partner that you love them!

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GrandParents Day: In The Beginning


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Grandparents are don’t just drop from the sky, there is always a starting point…Our family started in 1938…

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Stuart and Annabel MacLellan Circa late 1970’s

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Dad was from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island:  Mom grew up in the 9th Ward in New Orléans, Louisiana which was devastated by hurricane Katrina.  My memory of New Orléans is from my Grandmothers home on Gentilly Blvd close to the historic Fairgrounds Park.

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Prince Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Gentilly Blvd New Orléans by the Fairgrounds

My parent’s met in St. Louis in 1938 and soon started a family and settled in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri!

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Bungalow in Brentwood, MO

From Stuart and Annabel, six children were born!

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Jimmy, JoAnn, Merrille, Chris, Gerri, Mary. Due to Age restrictions from ‘some’ of my sisters, the pecking order is out of sink in this picture!

Stuart and Annabel have long made their transition to eternal life, Annabel in 1984 and Stuart in 1987.  What they started from six, grew into 24 grandchildren and now over 40 great-grandchildren.  Because of their poor health, they did not have the opportunity to enjoy their grandchildren as much as they would have liked, not to mention their great-grandchildren which came long after their life.

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Adding Sissy’s husband George; Chris’ partner Richard; Jimmy’s wife Pat.

At times I don’t even know myself or even who you are. Happy, sad, mad, BigGlassesglad. Yet good friends to the end. We grew up together, under the same roof. Fighting and screaming. I escaped by daydreaming. 5 individuals then there were 6. I was scared, were you? I didn’t know which way to go. I wanted to be noticed, I wanted to be seen, all I could do was dream…dream of living with Mother 175Dear. I just wanted someone to tuck me in. If I wasn’t so hard on myself I’d probably be thin.

My defects of character number a few, and when I start thinking of them I feel blue. Have your dreams come true? Have you done all you wanted to do? By the way my favorite color is blue. We were all set free, to drift alone to find 438165our way. Some never came back home to stay, we’ve done the best we can, even with the cards dealt in our hand. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but always land with both feet on the ground.

Everyone should be proud and say it out loud! Our kids have grown up in spite of our faults, hopefully we didn’t fall short. They’ll know we tried our best and they will too. I will give myself credit and so should you. Your kids are great and mine are too! We’re all getting older,3 Sisters Minus 1 at Dr. Jazz (2) we’re in the prime of our lives.

Everyday is a new adventure and I’m very grateful I’m not wearing dentures. Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses. I’m still younger and that’s how it TLOCJMgoes, or until Chris opposes.

A call or a visit is good medicine too! And another reminder, I younger than you! Mary MacLellan Stough

 

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Caregivers: Use Your Right Brain, Too!


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On Tuesday, we welcomed Benjamin Azevedo, M.D. from New Orléans Bow Ties to our ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ show on Blog Talk Radio. To listen to our entire show, simply click here!

Our conversation was more than just about the making of beautiful Bow Ties, our conversation centered on the importance of having an equal balance in life.  Ben recently graduated from Tulane Medical School in New Orleans and will be starting his internship in San Diego later this summer.  Medical school, like any academic disciplines, can be trying, even for the most dedicated students.

Ben has always resonated with the idea that there are two sides to the brain; the left being in charge of linear analytical thinking and focuses, ordered, logical execution while the right is more expansive, creative, and boundless.  During his blog_Brainfirst year in medical school, Ben realized that he was letting his left-brain take control of his life and strip it of the art, music, and imagination that his family had fostered throughout his life.  Ben put a conscious effort into letting go of his stress and thrust himself into the exploration of what his right brain had to offer.  Ben first began to cook, to draw, to exercise more and get out into nature.  Then the idea came of creating beautiful Bow Ties, which has become a conversational piece in his work, while allowing his right brain to explore.  Along with his masterful work of creating beautiful bow ties, Ben also recognized the need for Doctors to learn how to communicate good patient care, especially when dealing with difficult end of life issues with patients and their families.    With his attraction to palliative care and hospice, Ben created an elective course at Tulane University teaching the art of communication to medical students.  The course has been well-received by both students and faculty. “This is cutting edge material”, I thought.  We all know there is more to Doctor/Patient, Doctor/Family communication than just reading a chart!   With his communication class, Ben is providing a great tool for medical students, who in most cases, would never have been exposed to such an important learning tool. 

As our conversation continued, I was struck by how much I have let my right brain linger.  As a Caregiver, I realized that I am constantly in the left – brain mode; always analyzing, worrying, thinking about the need of my caree, completely focused on his needs rather than my own.    As my weight continues to rise, while my hobbies are put on hold,  my right brain strives to be released from its shackles, to explore, to create to be free again.  I wonder how many caregivers might just feel the same way?  I know I am going to make a conscious effort to be more creative while elimination self imposed stress! 

Ben’s terrific example of letting his left brain explore, not only afforded him the opportunity to make beautiful bow ties, it allowed him to go on step further by combining the best of his right and left brain by creating such a meaningful communication class for medical students!

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This next time I run into a young physician who provides empathic communication, I will want to ask them if they took Ben’s communication class at Tulane University.   If they are wearing a bow tie, I’ll know it without even asking!  

                                                  

Listen to:

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                                Can’t listen Live?  NO Worries!  All our shows

                               are  archived for your convenience by clicking

HERE!

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Tuesday on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’: Benjamin Azevedo


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On Tuesday May 21st at 1:00 pm (est), we welcome Benjamin Azevedo, M.D. from New Orléans Bow Ties to our ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ show on Blog  Talk Radio.  Ben is a recent  graduated from Tulane University in New Orléans and will be heading to San Diego to start his residency program later this summer. To listen to our show, simply click here!

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Ben has always resonated with the idea that there are two sides to the brain; the left being in charge of linear analytical thinking and focuses, ordered, logical execution while the right is more expansive, creative, and boundless.  During his first year in medical school, Ben realized that he was letting his left brain take control of his life and strip it of the art and music and imagination that his family had fostered throughout his life. He put a conscious effort into letting go of his stress and thrust himself into the exploration of what his right brain had to offer.

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Ben began to cook, to draw, to exercise more and to get out into nature.  Then the idea came of creating beautiful bow ties which has become a conversational piece in his work, while allowing his right brain to explore!

Ben’s passion and life goals are in medicine and public health, but he has realized that without a healthy balance of the dreaming artist and the practical scholar, he would be less happy, less productive, and miss out on the vibe of his favorite city. He is grateful for a hardworking team that believes in his vision and allows him to lead a life that balances fashion and scholarship.

Every day as he looks in the mirror, buttons his shirt collar, and methodically ties his hand-made bow tie, he is reminded of the balance he is seeking. His left brain is satisfied by the process, the order, and the crisp look of the bright silk in parallel with his smile, while his right brain expounds on the imperfect asymmetry of the knot and the creativity that got him to this point. 

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On today’s show, Ben will demonstrate to us the importance of having an equal balance in our lives so that we can all ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver!’

To listen to our show, simply click here!

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Can’t listen live…NO WORRIES!  All our shows are archived for your listening convenience by clicking here! 

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Remember…Blame the Disease, Not The Caree!


When I was a kid, one of my favorite roller coasters was the Zephyr at the old Pontchartrain Beach amusement park in New Orléans.  Those steep curves and big drops were exhilarating, especially when the car made the turn to come back to the station ― when for a moment you thought  that you were going to fly into Lake Pontchartrain only to feel the car make that big pull to the left at the last second and head back to home base.  They do not make Roller Coasters like that anymore! 

Being a caregiver at times is like riding a roller coaster: up the hill, down the hill, swaying through the curves that Caregiving brings to us on a daily basis.  I know I must have ridden the Zephyr over a 100 times in my life, so I knew what to expect and could anticipate the bumps and curves as the car sped down the track.

Caregiving can change at a moment’s notice and… without any warning.  When your anxiety heightens, that is precisely the time when you have to be calm in the presence of your caree.    All of a sudden, those steep curves look ominous; those hills become daunting.

  • When your caree lashes out at you, take a step back and assess the situation; more times than not, it is the disease talking, not the caree.
  • Be attentive, not condescending.
  •  Be proactive, not reactive.
  • As a caregiver, remember you are not the one who is sick.

‘The Little One’ taught me this lesson as he related stories of being a caregiver for his partner Herman who passed away in 1999 from Alzheimer’s.  “As mad as I would get with Herman, I had to remind myself that it was the disease talking and not the man who I had known for 43 years.”   Over the last 48 hours, I have been reminded of this story quite a number of times as we are currently in the mist of change with ‘The Little One’s’ health.  We never know when the tumor is going to act up, but when it does, it takes its toll.   We are hoping that ‘this roller coaster’ gets back on track and pulls into the station .

When riding the Zephyr  I could anticipate the bumps and curves on the track, and I knew that I would always end up back at the station; however our health and well-being is not so predictable.  So when those bad days surface, we both take comfort in knowing that it is the disease, not the person.   Mindful that the person you love and care for, will always be inside your heart no matter what is inside their body.

You see…We Might Have Cancer…

 But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 

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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Intergenerational, LGBT Caregiving, Unconditional Love