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Monthly Archives September 2011

Motivate yourself to Move – No Matter What

“Be miserable.

Or motivate yourself.

Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

-Wayne Dyer

I’m absolutely miserable our first morning back in town after a marvelous month spent in sunny, but quite cool, Florida. I find myself faced with the prospect of pushing myself out into Chicago’s sub-zero cold for my daily five mile walk.

“Ain’t happenin’,” I think. “Now what?”

The bare minimum I will walk on a day like today is one hour. So, my only other option is to bundle up, race down the street to East Bank Club, chain myself to one of their high-tech treadmills, tough it out for that hour and get the whole thing over with.

As treadmills go, I especially favor the ones that look like “Star Wars” Strato Scooters, so I pick my favorite on the end, punch the “quick start” workout button and away I go.

However: by 13:09 into my workout, I’m already bored silly without my I-pod. I can’t believe I forgot it. That thing’s like an appendage to me, but today it’s in a different spot than usual because of last night’s travel and I just plain forgot it. My dang knees are crying, too.

How many of you would quit right here and now at the first sign of a little discomfort?

If you want to lose weight and get healthier, you have to work past the pain and walk every day. (Consult with your doctor first, but do get your butt moving ASAP.)

You know what your personal pain tolerance is and what everyday aches you have that you always use as an excuse to not move as much as you should. Stop letting those things hold you back. Stop holding yourself back.

Get on the scale. Look at yourself in the mirror. Feel how tight your waistband is. Look at yourself from behind. Notice how snug your shirts, sweaters and blouses fit.

It’s time for you to get moving. Or are you waiting for some catastrophic health event to strike where, if you’re lucky enough to survive, THEN maybe you’ll start to do what you need to do for a healthier, more fit life?

Why wait?

Back to the music matter: it works wonders as a distraction from pain. It’s one of the things that keeps me walking day after day after day. Studies prove that people who walk and listen to their favorite music are more likely to develop walking into a daily habit. (And for safety, listen only in one ear while you’re walking outside.)

15:51 minutes: I’m restless and looking for an escape. I spy some of Nautilus’s new, split treadmill machines called treadclimbers. Hmmmm.

17:09: My curiosity gets the better of me. I feel the need to switch over to one of the treadclimbers and keep my warm up going while I get oriented on this new cardio contraption.

“No need to run. 2 X’s the workout!” blare the red-dotted words on the screen. We’ll see.

I last five whole minutes – that’s the amount of time allotted to figure out how to work the thing – before I call it quits. I can’t move my legs another revolution.

“Continue workout?” red-dot flashes next. Not!

“Treadclimber, indeed,” I wonder. What genius thought this one up? But in my heart I’m envious of those who zoom along, cardio-cranking, proficiently smooth and sweating like hell. That’s the real name of the fitness game if you can handle it. Lucky dogs. Otherwise, take it slow, do what you can, but you do have to push yourself and practice every single day to get results.

And if your heart, knees, hips and back can take it, the treadclimber will seriously boil off your excess pounds in no time flat and then keep them off for as long as you continue to use it daily. That’s the key to one of dieting’s biggest “secrets,” consistency – doing it daily. Forever.

I can’t beat a path back to my old treadmill fast enough. The grass was not greener, and clearly I need music to get me through the rest of this workout.

Another turning point: how many of you would quit now? How many of you would figure, “What the heck,” and just stop right here?

I have to press on. No excuses.

Doing some quick math, I figure seventeen minutes on the first treadmill, plus the five minutes I spent on the tread climber, equal twenty-two minutes. That leaves me with a minimum of thirty-eight minutes to go – back on my original “Strato Scooter.”

A few minutes into it, I wish my knees would stop screaming while I wait for the Excedrin I popped a bit ago to kick in. I’m just thankful to be back on level “ground,” if you know what I mean.

My one eye slits open: only 30 more minutes to go. This is pure, unadulterated penance for my 30-days of wayward vacation behavior. Miraculously, however, I didn’t gain any weight even though we wined and dined with tastes of dessert almost nightly. (OK, so some nights there was more than just a “taste.”)

And don’t think I was a total slug while we were away. It was 30 straight days of walking a minimum of five miles a day on the beach and swimming an hour in a perfectly heated pool every afternoon that helped me keep my weight in check. Plus – two more dieting biggies: weighing myself every morning and being very stingy with every single white starchy, sugary carb I put in my mouth at breakfast or lunch that helped, too. (I never eat both on the same day anymore.)

Vigilance is vital. There is no other option.

I quickly count my blessings. In the old days I would have figured, “Heck with it, we’re on vacation,” and toss all caution and training to the wind. And by the time I’d get back home – I could easily be up ten, fifteen or twenty. Not any more.

But, at 11:23, (of the 38 minutes I have left this go-round) I discover I have to pee.

“No way,” I think. If I stop again I will never be able to get back on this thing. I know it. This is way too hard for me today – especially without my usual musical diversion.

15:52: For distraction, I sneak my Bluetooth outta my purse and clip it on my ear, placing a verboten call (club etiquette rules) to my business partner, whispering to her that I’ll be in within the hour.

I then slam my eyes shut, grab hold of the handlebar and by 20:44 I gleefully realize I’m over halfway there.

Failing to keep my mind occupied, I compulsively open my eyes again and again only to find the first thing I stare at is that dang elapsed time.

25:52: How will I keep on walking for the duration? Then I think about the consequences if I don’t – that does it for me every time. After struggling for a lifetime of being mostly overweight, I know full well what will happen if I ever succumb to such lazy thinking again.

An almost anorexic gal climbs onto one of the treadclimbers just a bit in front of me. Her legs and feet are a dizzying blur as she gears up to speed instantly without so much as a how-da-ya-do warm up. She’s tall and weighs maybe ninety pounds dripping wet – half of what I weigh, so what do I expect. The lighter the load, the faster you move.

“Only ten minutes to go, no one would know if you stopped now,” I hear. I know it’s not me but that dang Demon voice in my head trying to sabotage me yet again. I refuse to listen. “I would know, you ass, and that would never do.” Why risk entertaining such a bad habit now, after all I’ve done, after how far I’ve come? Quitting early just isn’t my style. I know how much better I look and feel without that extra 130 pounds. Even with my chronic pains, the effort’s well worth it. The pains are far less and I’m much healthier now.


33:17: My Demon is hard at work begging me, demanding, stomping his foot to get me to stop now “before it’s too late.” “Too late for what,” I snarl? Demon doesn’t come up with a good enough answer, so I press on, eyes clamped tight to shut out the elapsed time’s red-dot display.

36:28: Just a few more minutes. “You can do it,” I encourage myself.

“Don’t be a fool. No you can’t,” hisses Demon.

37:01: Only 59 more seconds of this misery. Rest assured, I will never forget that dang I-pod again.

I see myself punch the cool down button. Am I crazy or what? Adding five more minutes onto this treadmill torture for good measure is insane, but I do it anyway – just because I can, thinking, “Take THAT, Demon.”

I always make sure to get my daily walking workout in no matter how hard it is, no matter what.

How about you? You know there is no REAL excuse.

Do whatever has to be done. It’s always your choice.

Laura Dion-Jones Casey

Medical Advice: 7 Questions you Should Ask your Doctor Before Accepting Any Kind of Medical Treatment

We all want to think our doctors are infallible. We’d like to think our doctors know everything there is to know about treating our particular condition. Yet the truth is, at some point in time the doctor has to learn by doing.

Yes, they go through intensive education and rigorous training, but there is a world of difference between textbook learning and the unpredictability of real-life practice. Even established professionals can go an entire career without treating many conditions firsthand.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid visiting your healthcare practitioner or be fearful about the quality of care you will receive in your time of need.

As I explain in my gripping, fictionalized memoir, Death on the Learning Curve, it’s important that you regard your doctor as a friendly advocate for your health and well-being. However, you should never be a passive spectator when treatment, medication, or surgery is proposed.

It’s Your Health on the Line & You Need to be Engaged in the Process.

Anytime you experience a health problem, be prepared to actively participate in the decision-making process. You should be ready to ask questions-not to be confrontational, but to become fully informed.

Here’s My Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Accepting Any Kind of Medical Treatment:

1. How long have you been in practice?

2. What is your experience with this condition?

3. What are my treatment options, and what other options are available that you or my health plan is not offering? If you don’t understand your doctor’s basic explanation of your condition and treatment, then by all means ask him or her for more information.

4. What are the possible complications of the proposed treatments or surgeries? If there are any complications, how will you correct the problem?

5. Aside from your own partners, whom would you go to for treatment if you had this condition?

6. Are you personally going to perform the surgery? Will others assist and participate in a major way?

7. Can I ask your bookkeeper what my financial responsibility will be? (You need to know in advance.. and don’t be afraid to negotiate!)

The above questions may seem basic, but are very important to get a better sense of whether the doctor you have chosen is someone you truly want as your partner in medical treatment.

Inappropriate Questions or Behavior

Notice I did not include the question: how many times have you been sued? We’ve all heard horror stories, but it is less than useful to ask your doctor how many times he or she has been sued. In today’s cultural climate, most doctors have been sued more than once, especially the good ones!

Inappropriate actions and questions, however well intentioned, can actually undermine your treatment. By recognizing in advance when you are coping with the stresses and fears that go hand-in-hand with serious medical diagnoses, you can avoid compromising the crucial doctor-patient relationship.

Your Health’s Bottom Line

Medical crises are frightening and patients can often feel overwhelmed. But by taking the responsibility to actively participate in the decision-making process and actually work with your doctor for your own highest good, you can dispel your fears. This will allow you and your doctor to focus on the ultimate goal: returning to wellness.

Pierce Scranton

starting a new medical billing business. Need a name for the business…?

We specialize in pediatrics and only do that for now. But we hope to do billing for all types of medical practices…

Any suggestions for a co name would be great!!

Hello Just Trying To Make A Living,

I can suggest about a dozen names for you but through experience I have found that choosing a name for your business is just as personal as choosing a name for your child. With that being said there is a lot more to picking a business name than just coming up with one out of thin air. Sure you can choose a name that you may like but what happens if someone is already using that name in your state or elsewhere?

While I completely understand what you are asking I am just letting you know that the best way to choose a name is by:

1) Brainstorming and writing down several names that sound pleasing to the ear, best describes the services you will be providing, and thinking about how those names will look when written down(the design/logo/motto that will make it memorable).

2) Remember whom you will be marketing to and who else will be exposed to your name while marketing so be sensitive toward gender, race and religion.

3) Write down the advantages and disadvantages of the names you have chosen and pick only the top four.

4) Take the top four names on a test drive by asking others which name they would choose to do business with if they were looking for a biller. I only tell you this because as humans we are partial when we create something and only an unbiased opinion will allow you to see through your potential customers eyes.

5) Check for the availability, search for conflicts and or similarities regarding your favorite four names. You don’t want to name a business that can cause problems later, because it confuses you with some other business or worse.

There are several things to consider that most people do not think about when coming up with names for their businesses and most of them learn the hard way why it is best to thoroughly research the market/industry before choosing.

In the ebook entitle “Medical Billing Beginners Book” (the best up to date guide I have read on properly starting a home based medical billing business) the author did a great job of breaking down this very issue. If you have not read it click on the link beneath my signature file.

Best of luck to you,


dentists am asking for a device for dental students….? is there something like that?

hi am dental student…
in my uni. I’ve started practising on how to restore a tooth and am wondering if there is a small device i can buy in which i can use the high and low speed instruments in my home and cut plastic teeth
or the only solution is to use the dental chair to practise that in uni???

There are portable units that can be bought and used. Go to any dental company and they will definitely be able to help you. It might be a bit expensive, but in the long term if you buy it now, you can use it when you open up practice. They are very handy.

If the price is not good, then rather just go to your clinics after hours with permission and practice, i dont think the supervisors will mind if you cut only on plastic teeth.

How luxuriously (or not) will I be able to live making $40-50k a year?

Right now, I’m in medical school and taking out around $60-70k in loans each year, $50k of which goes to tuition. So, I’m paying rent, maintaining my car, eating, etc. on around 10k a year. When I start residency, I’ll finally be MAKING money instead of losing it, but only around $40-50k a year. Plus I might want to start repaying my loans slowly but surely. Will I have money left over to buy a house and get a sports car? Or will I have to wait till I start practicing? (starting salaries are around $200-300k)
Btw I’m gay, so unlike most of the other medical students, I’ll probably still be single and without children :(
I’ll be 26 when i start residency and probably around 30-32 when I start practicing

That depends upon how you define luxuriously. In any metropolitan US community, $40k per year can very difficult to live on, especially with student loans. Expect to pay $12k per year for rent alone, $5k for a car loan, $5k per year for food.

Bloodletting was a common medical practice for over 2000 years. Does this make it something we should still do?

Is religion special in that it’s the only archaic practice that can’t be obviously proven superfluous or erroneous?

Actually, bloodletting is making a comeback onto the medical field.

It is healthy to extract a certain amount of blood from those who have disorders of the blood or high amounts of certain elements in the blood. High blood pressure can be helped without medication by regular, controlled bloodletting. Hemochromatosis (too much iron building up in the blood) can also be helped without medication by regular, controlled bloodletting.

Can a doctor practice in any state in the United states?

Im wondering if a doctor can practice anywhere in the united states or does it depend on what medical school he/she went to. I know that there are certain residency spots open at places but can they practice anywhere afterward? Also how does this apply to other medical schools outside of the united states, Caribbean and Canada? Do the schools have to be licensed by California for instance to practice there after residency or does that only apply to the residency period?

Each state has a medical licensing authority . A person must apply for a license to practice medicine in each state that he or she wants to establish a practice . There is an exam administered by the AMA to establish the equivalency of your out of country medical degree .