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Media and the Message

Regina.  That is my name.  I have known why it is my name since I was a small child.  It is etched within my mind beside my childhood prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord, My soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake… “ I am named after my great Aunt Regina Roggow.  She died in 1906 when she was only 5 years old.  She shares a grave with her little brother Erwin who was only three.  They died of Scarlett Fever.  If you are parent, you might have gotten those little slips of paper that warn of an instance of strep throat in the classroom.  After getting the note you probably watched your child more closely and perhaps made a trip to your local doctor to pick up some antibiotics.  My great grandparents did not pick up antibiotics; there were none…

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Not Your Father's CMS

Several times I have braved the sticky DC heat to trudge up the street towards the headquarters to Health and Human Services (HHS).  Currently there is a great deal of construction in the area.  Street grit and dust assail those who arrive by the metro tunnel.  It is very bright at street level and everywhere I looked stark concrete reflected the summer sun.  I walked up the street to the Herbert H. Humphrey building that houses HHS.  It was designed in the brutalism style.  The building is a white box with a repeated series of box like windows.   The grounds surrounding the building are white granite and concrete.  There is nothing of nature, no tree, no grass: all is hard angular lines. I walked through the doors and passed through security.  The interior of the building is a classic space with warmer friendly colors.  Here the dark wood counters and…

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Spare Parts

When I was a young teen I went with my little sister Esther to get my ears pierced at Claire’s Boutique in the local Mall.  If you are not familiar with Claire’s Boutique it is a shop filled with hair accessories and very affordable earrings.  I remember the young shop girl who pierced our ears.  She held up a tool that looked like a pliers.  She explained that she would be placing “studs” in our ears.  These earrings were gold plated and would be locked in place for the next six weeks.  We would need to clean our ears regularly.  After six weeks our ears should heal and then we would be able to wear other earrings they carried.  She followed up saying sometimes certain clients did not respond well to metal in their ears. Those clients would need to stop wearing earrings or use gold earrings only.  After telling…

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The Stone Soup Method

Once upon a time a poor man entered a village and asked if the villagers had any food to spare. The villagers said no. It had been a hard winter and each family was hoarding what little they had. The village was small and the man was strange so though they would not help him, they began to watch him.  Perhaps he would leave if no food was forthcoming or perhaps he would try to steal.   The man did neither of these. He merely gathered firewood and built a fire.  He put his cooking pot in the stream and hoisted the water-filled pot to his fire.  Then while all the villagers peered around doors and out of shuttered windows, the man made a big show of searching for some rounded large stones in the stream.  He exclaimed upon finding each one. He rubbed them on his worn tunic and praised…

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méridienne

What if you were alone and suffering? What if it felt like no one understood your pain and the people had turned their backs to you? Then suddenly a window opened and a blue bird tweeted about a new tomorrow.  You found there were others like you all over the world. Others like you trying desperately to reach out and become friends. What would you do to make that vision a reality?  I know what Afternoon Napper did.  She tweeted, she blogged and most recently she began asking for our help on Medstartr.  She needs to raise $5,000 dollars by September 7, 2012 to help achieve non-profit status and host a retreat to help individuals who share her rare disease: FMD.  “Fibromuscular dysplasia is a rare, noninflammatory, nonatherosclerotic arterial disease that occurs most commonly in women and presents most frequently in the renal artery. FMD may cause arterial stenosis, occlusion, aneurysm, and/or…