Tag Archives: Blogging


This is a sad post. You might consider taking a pass on this one.

I just discovered last night that a blogger I follow, Rhonda Elkins, has passed away.

I am deeply, deeply saddened. I had been wondering why she hadn’t posted in so long. Checking in again yesterday, I noticed a large number of comments on her last post. So began the realization that Rhonda was gone.

Her story is tragic.

She started her blog as a means to grieve the suicide of her 23 year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, in April of 2013. Kaitlyn was a brilliant, young woman in medical school. She suffered a lifetime of depression, unbeknownst to her family. While enduring the unimaginable loss of her daughter, Rhonda managed to write a book. It is a story of love and heartbreak, and shines a light on suicide, especially the isolated suffering of the gifted. Here is an excerpt from Rhonda’s blog, written just two days before she died:

One Day When I Die…….

Posted on August 26, 2014

by gatito2

Here I am once again, to seemingly come on my blog and brag about my book. But I can honestly say, that though it may seem like I’m bragging, I am not. The reason I ever write about my book or post my reviews is because it drives home the fact that what happened to my daughter has happened to so many medical students, residents, doctors and young people in any station in life. And unfortunately, there are many more depressed students out there scared to get help and we must do something about it. And by doing this hopefully more can be done about this problem. I feel good that it is getting good reviews and though it is no longer in the top 10 of its category, it is still in the top rated section in its category…

Rhonda’s voice was crystal clear. Enduring a lifelong struggle with depression herself, she shared the most heart-wrenching. personal and lonely times of grief, as well as her deep love for her surviving daughter, Stephanie and  her husband, Allyn. I am absolutely stunned to learn that Rhonda too, took her own life. Her voice is missing from the dialogue of how to understand this tragic loss of life. I just can’t believe it.

Tonight I was meditating on the first chakra, the root chakra of safety and security. The centering thought, “My life energy protects and secures me,” (chopracentermeditation.com) caused me to dissolve in a puddle of tears. Why didn’t Rhonda’s life energy protect and secure her? Why?

The pain and suffering of her beloved family is profound. I am humbled in the face of this tragedy. I can only surmise that Rhonda’s pain and suffering was so great and unrelenting that she was unable to conceive of a life with any hope. Knowing her through her writings, I just can’t reconcile her suicide with her intimate understanding of the devastation her death would cause those she loved more than life itself.

Here is a link to Rhonda’s blog, “My Bright Shining Star”:

And here is a link to her book:

I am so sorry Rhonda is gone.
I hope she is at last able to rest in peace.



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Making Amends

It’s been about three months since I started this blog.

When I was contemplating blogging, I hadn’t intended to have a blog about health. I mostly thought it would be a good way to make sense of my day, to record my thoughts, and maybe post some of my art. But clearly, my writing has centered around health. Not surprising, as improving my health has become my priority over the last few months. All I can say is, “Thank gawd.”

When I look back on the last three years, I am startled to see the mounting symptoms of my deteriorating immune system. In June of 2011, I ventured cross-country with my son on an 7 week, 8000 mile journey cross-country in our old, 24 foot Airstream. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I never felt better. One of the highlights was a week-long Grand Canyon rafting trip. 190 glorious miles of the Colorado River and the majesty of the canyon was almost more than a heart can hold. But what I left behind will forever be counted among one of my greatest achievements. I left behind my cigarettes. I knew there would be no quick trips to the convenience store in moments of weakness. 5 days on the river. That was it. I kicked it.

And it all went downhill from there.

Fatigue, weight gain (40+ lbs), itchy skin, and more fatigue plagued me for the next three years. Each day, I couldn’t wait to get home and get under the covers. I started to worry that I was depressed. I couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm to complete household chores and maintenance projects. I dreaded social events. I just felt tired    a  l  l     o  f      t   h  e       t   i   m   e .    Then one morning I noticed that my eyebrows had thinned, fairly drastically.  The first third of both eyebrows. In fact, once I saw it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before and wondered if it had happened overnight! This triggered a visit to my physician who promptly referred me to the dermatologist. The doc administered painful cortisone shots to my eyebrows and delivered a serious recommendation to go to an endocrinologist. He said this eyebrow loss could be a symptom of Lupus. Lupus? No way.

Six months later, I remembered the dermatologist’s advice, and decided that I really must find an endocrinologist. I may have something seriously wrong with me. The thought was frightening, but I was ready to face it. I had to figure out why I was so out of sorts.

I literally had the thought after school one afternoon, and the very next morning, at 8 a.m. an endocrinologist appeared! My class and I were making our way to the library to see a science presentation. I had no idea what it was going to be about. Imagine how struck I was when I discovered our guest speaker was an endocrinologist. I couldn’t believe it! I felt the universe was speaking directly to me.

Thus began the my education about the state of my health. When I got the diagnosis of Hashimotos, I had no idea what it meant. I did a little bit a research, concluded it was a common diagnosis, and actually never gave it much more thought. The diagnosis actually came by mail, as my endocrinologist was in the process of moving offices, and she had gone ahead and ordered the blood work, etc. based on a patient questionnaire and medical history that she mailed me. I didn’t actually meet her in the office until this past summer!

Then I visited a naturopath who practices functional medicine. It’s expensive, especially the supplements I’m taking. But as far as I’m concerned it’s worth every penny.  I am finally feeling like myself. And as I get healthier and stronger, I am seeing more clearly the dense fog I’ve been in for so long. I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I’m trying now, to make amends.

So, I have this blog. It turns out I have a lot to say about my health. I suppose I’ll just keep writing like this until I run out of things to say.

It might be a while. After all, I’m turning 50 next year. I’ve got a lot of ‘mending to do.

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“When communication comes from your core self—your pure voice—it is simple, kind, understanding, and appreciative. In this flow of expression, you are able to share your true self with the world in thought, speech, and action.”  -Deepak Chopra

Blogging has been on my mind for a while now.  And I’ve been thinking about why in the world I would want to do such a thing.  There are a couple of very good reasons for me steer clear of this endeavor.

First of all, I hate really dislike writing.  It’s one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me and continuing my education.  I just cannot fathom writing a dissertation.

Secondly, I’m a rather private person.  Not because I’m up to anything interesting.  I think I’m just too wary of others judging me–especially since I’m a public educator.  I would, however,  like it to matter much less (what others think of me) than it does.

On the other hand, author and artist, Austin Kleon, just wrote a book entitled, Show Your Work.  I happened to watch a talk he gave this year at SxSW about the importance of putting yourself out there; your work, your ideas.  What happens as a result is that you attract like-minded individuals.  This really resonated with me.  As I explore new territory, I like the idea of connecting to and attracting like-minded people.  You can check out Austin’s blog and his talk here.

Yesterday morning I randomly tuned into a short meditation about the 5th chakra of expression (visualize light blue).  It was about the importance of expressing your true self and letting it be known. It seemed synchronistic that I would be hearing this message within twenty-four hours of starting my blog–a message to me from the universe.

I suppose that’s as good a reason as any to blog.





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