The Broken Mind: Living with Bipolar Disorder

By Dre from Jerz | Featured Contributor


As a man in his early 40’s, coping with bipolar disorder and manic depression has been a major struggle. But through an open understanding and a willingness to learn, mental health issues can become manageable.

It all started in my late twenties. I was sitting on my twin-sized bed listening to one of my favorite hip hop CD’s. After a breakup with a young lady at the time and in between menial jobs, my mind was in a fragile state. I would play this particular CD on repeat from evening to morning. Not realizing it at the time, but internally I had snapped to the point my brainwaves shifted into an altered phase.

Continue reading “The Broken Mind: Living with Bipolar Disorder”

Feeling ‘Hangry?’ – Hypoglycemia, Mental Health, and the Importance of Diet

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


Depression is a complex weave, and I have explored it in various articles on Phoebe, MD. The grief of watching my mom decline with Alzheimer’s and the grief of infertility. However, did you know that some symptoms of depression can also result from a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, which in some people can lead to postprandial hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar after a meal)? This has been another life challenge for me.

Continue reading “Feeling ‘Hangry?’ – Hypoglycemia, Mental Health, and the Importance of Diet”

Thirteen Years of Training For A Pandemic

By Don P. | Guest Contributor


On April 28, 2007, my life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt and turned 180 degrees. I had a massive heart attack that day, and a triple bypass surgery the following day. To really make my story special, I then flat-lined over a hundred times during the next twelve or so days, and followed that with a very high drama heart transplant and a five day stint on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and was conscious (to a degree) while on a ventilator—the single worst memory in my lifetime. (ECMO is a machine that is basically an artificial lung to oxygenate your blood while your lungs rest/heal).

A week after my heart transplant, I regained consciousness and started to rebuild my body and my life, and unbeknownst to me, I was placed in training for this coronavirus pandemic

Continue reading “Thirteen Years of Training For A Pandemic”

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click for Part 1 and Part 2]

The bandage torn
From new flesh
Releases wails
The wound still
Imbibes air
The scab hides
deep repair
Let it rest. Wait
In time the scar
Records a fate

I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)”

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click here for Part 1]

Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.

Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.

Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women around me have. I feel I have little to contribute. I have attended and hosted many baby showers, but my mind always wanders to my losses, making it difficult to be fully present to the joy young mothers feel. Women form strong bonds with each other and share in all the rituals around birthing and raising children. I feel like an outsider at times, like I am more an observer than a participant in these sacred passages.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)”

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


As we grow and develop, we learn how to identify with many labels or roles, such as daughter/son, aunt/uncle, mother/father, and grandmother/grandfather, to name a few. It seems as though our stories are written before we are born to conform to these labels. In a way, these roles become rituals that comfort us as we agree to them and even expect our lives to go “as planned” based on our social codes and blueprints for survival.

I know I certainly expected my life to unfold much like my mother’s life did with marriage and family. She had seven children, and being the second oldest and oldest girl, I was able to help with all the babies she had. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to have my own children. Little did I know that my helping her at the ages of 9 and 10 with my youngest siblings would be my only times to experience at least part of what a mother does for her kids. I am not sure I appreciated this time because as much as I loved playing mommy, I also wanted to be with my friends.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)”

Spinal Con-fusion: A Poem by a Survivor

By John Gregory Evans | Featured Author


There remains
a deadened,
freezing,
almost an anesthetizing
sense of dread
upon my fingertips and hands,
reaching deep into my leg’s nerves,
shattered spinal cord,
peeled away
as one peels an orange.

Walking,
now a challenge,
con-fusion of the fusion,
cervical cord,
Ruptured and bruised,
arrogance of the humanity factor.

Pain
within the eyes
like lightning fingers
to the crown
of God.

Continue reading “Spinal Con-fusion: A Poem by a Survivor”

Avoiding the Tragedy: A Look into Disease Prevention

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis
Part 2 – Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story


Back in 1957, the year I almost died from the measles, my parents—unlike the parents of today—did not have to face the choice of vaccination, because there was no vaccine in existence (it wasn’t introduced until several years later, in 1963).

Therefore, it was important for me to share my experience with this condition because of the great controversy that currently exists over vaccines in general, and particularly the measles vaccine. Far too many children are not getting vaccinated against measles and other diseases owing to perceived risks, so now measles has returned as a virulent threat worldwide.

Continue reading “Avoiding the Tragedy: A Look into Disease Prevention”

Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


In this article, I would like to share my story of how an illness I suffered as a child affected me. Particularly with the climate of today, I hope this will help inform people of the consequences that can develop in young children who are at risk of getting certain illnesses.

It was the summer of 1957, and it seemed to have happened all at once, where I turned from an active six-year-old girl to a helpless baby overnight. At that time, my family was living in Lewistown, Montana, where my dad was a Presbyterian minister. Mom was at home with three children, aged seven to four. That summer, all three of us contracted measles. But while my siblings’ illnesses took a more benign course, I developed a life-threatening complication: measles encephalitisa serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the brain that can occur either during the rash phase of measles or following the illness itself.

I have often contemplated my own battle with measles encephalitis…because it did indeed nearly kill me.

Continue reading “Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis”

Mind Over Body: Catarina’s Path to Health

By Catarina Rodrigues, Featured Health Story


Three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is what happens when the upper portion of your stomach slides up into your chest because there is an opening (a “hiatus”) in your diaphragm. This causes the person to experience severe acid reflux and discomfort, among other symptoms. When my doctor explained this to me, as—you may imagine—it all sounded quite frightening. He told me that this was essentially an incurable condition and that surgery was not recommended at my age.

Continue reading “Mind Over Body: Catarina’s Path to Health”

Get Featured on PhoebeMD!

Do you currently live with a chronic health condition or care for someone who does? Have you overcome a significant health event in the past? Would you like to use your experience to inspire others who may be going through similar circumstances while simultaneously expanding your own blog readership?

If so, PhoebeMD would like to invite you to submit your story to be considered for publication!

Continue reading “Get Featured on PhoebeMD!”

Share Your Blog [closed]

Dear Friends,

Today, I again open up PhoebeMD.com for another Meet & Greet event. Remember, this is your moment to shine! This is a time for you all to come together to share your blogs and favorite posts, make new connections, and broaden your blog audiences.

The guidelines, like always, are simple…

Continue reading “Share Your Blog [closed]”

Helping One Another

In response to the worldwide health crisis that is affecting all of our lives right now, I have a special burden for the most vulnerable populations—the elderly and the chronically ill—many of whom are struggling during this time to maintain their health.

I am leading an effort through Pendants for a Cause to raise money to help support high-risk patients at nonprofit California and Texas hospitals. This means that 100% of the proceeds raised through the sale of items purchased through Pendants for a Cause’s shop will be redirected during this time toward preparing essential care packages for patients in need.

While we are no doubt all struggling to get through this time, I ask that you—if you live in the U.S.*—to consider supporting this cause if you have the burden or the means to.

Thank you for making a difference.

Sincerely,
Phoebe Chi, MD

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*Pendants for a Cause is limited to shipping within the U.S. at this time. 

Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief]

As a way to examine grief and loss, I will share my story of the loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s, one of the most devastating forms of dementia.

What is Alzheimer’s?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a dementia caused by the building up of plaques—deposits of protein fragments that create spaces between neurons (nerve cells)—as well as tau tangles inside the cells of the brain itself.

Continue reading “Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother”

Not Depressed: The Story of a Girl

By Yamini Rana


Twenty months ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression.

It was the beginning of June 2018. I was on a family road trip. At that time, it had been five months since I had moved away from home, to a well-known center for those preparing for prestigious high-end government exams…

Continue reading “Not Depressed: The Story of a Girl”

Want to Be Featured on PhoebeMD?

Do you have an inspiring health-related story or have a lot of health and wellness knowledge to share? Do you want to increase your exposure and expand your readership? If so, you might be exactly what PhoebeMD.com is looking for!

PhoebeMD is currently opening its blog to submissions from Health & Wellness contributors—specifically, to feature 1) informative articles on the topic of health and wellness, and 2) empowering stories about personal health journeys.

If you are interested in being featured, click here to learn more.

Children’s Heart Project ❤️

Dear friends,

Over the next month, Pendants for a Cause will be focusing its proceeds on Children’s Heart Project, an initiative to help children with cardiac issues obtain life-saving heart operations.

If you have a burden for this cause, I encourage you to browse our pendant selection to see if anything interests you. Remember, every penny from every sale goes to supporting the cause.

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Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

With love, 
Phoebe 💙

A Physician, a Burden…an Idea

The Birth of Pendants for a Cause

Pendants for a Cause started a little over a week ago from nothing more than a small piece of sea glass and a hope to help another. When news had hit of the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian on the communities in the Bahamas–of the lack of healthcare facilities and the need for resources and medical aid–my first thought was not to create necklaces. But despite my formal training as a physician, I felt that there was little that I could do to help all those I wanted to help.

So what else did I have that could possibly make a difference?

Continue reading “A Physician, a Burden…an Idea”

Pendants For a Cause

Dear Friends,

Happy Saturday! If you haven’t yet, please check out the PendantsForACause necklaces to see if any of my sea glass creations appeals to you.

Remember, every time you purchase a pendant, you are supporting two great causes. For more information on the PendantsForACause effort, please visit yesterday’s post.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou

❤️

1-2-3’s of Diabetic Carb Counting

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

When you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range is not only essential in keeping your diabetes under control, but it can help you feel your best. The easiest way to control your blood sugar is to watch your carbohydrate intake. This is because any carbohydrate food you eat (e.g., milk, fruit, bread, and pasta) is immediately digested into glucose (sugar), which causes your blood sugar level to increase.

In this post, I will discuss one of the more “advanced” methods of meal planning: the Carbohydrate Counting method. An easier (albeit less precise) method is the Create Your Plate method, so be sure to check out that post as well if you haven’t yet, along with the rest of the posts in the Diabetes Series!

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Continue reading “1-2-3’s of Diabetic Carb Counting”

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Holidays should be times of fun and enjoyment. For most people, these special days—whether it’s Christmas, Independence Day, or Thanksgiving—can seem like a perfect time to let go in order to indulge in rich foods and alcoholic drinks. But did you know that this can be harmful to your health…and possibly even life-threatening? In this post, I will discuss why and provide an overview on what you can do during these times to maintain your best health and prevent holiday illness, so that you can spend your day focusing on enjoying the occasion.

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Continue reading “Staying Healthy During the Holidays”

Being Empowered ….. for a Healthy Heart

A blogger whom I admire who has gone through much in life. Thank you for your friendship and for the lovely book review, Don!

My2ndHeartBeat

Being Empowered

I had a heart transplant about 11-1/2 years ago. I was thrust into the world of medicine and health with no notice. Through my journey, I’ve learned a LOT about heart health …….. through not only my transplant team of great doctors, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians and clinicians, but also by reading and investigating a lot of books, articles and studies.

Recently I learned of a new book written By Dr. Phoebe Chi, “Being Empowered …. for a Healthy Heart”.

This is a well written book that not only covers the topics of healthy eating and exercise, but she also adds some poetry, beautiful photographs and some sections that I don’t get talked about as much as they should, but make a ton of sense. The areas of relaxation, stress relief, sleep/insomnia, intimacy and staying motivated are very important parts of a good heart healthy program. These areas are often somewhat…

View original post 24 more words

Taking Control of Depression

Depression. One word that can mean so many things. For those who have lived with or currently live with depression, you know very well the effects it can have on your daily life. Depression can drain not only your physical energy, but also your hopes, motivation, enjoyment, and personal drive. You may be aware of all the steps to getting better, but you just cannot get yourself to take even the first one. If this sounds all too familiar to you, you are not alone. And there is hope.

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Continue reading “Taking Control of Depression”

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

A thoughtful review by Richard Mabey on Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart. Thank you, Richard, for your support!

Journey to Truth

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I totally enjoyed reading Dr. Phoebe Chi’s book, Being Empowered …for a Healthy Heart. It is such a good read and I learned a lot from this book. It is a very well organized book and chock full of useful information, for one to maintain good health. This book is a must have and a must read for anyone interested in attaining maximum health.

As a chiropractor, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises. What I like so much about this chapter is that Dr. Chi writes to communicate with the reader, not to impress the reader. There is a kind of unique conversational tone in Dr. Chi’s writing style. Which is rather rare in self improvement books in the field of personal health.

The graphics and illustrations in Dr. Chi’s book are outstanding. Returning…

View original post 154 more words

Taking Control of High Blood Pressure

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Have you ever been told that your blood pressure is high? Are you already on medications for your blood pressure? If so, you are not alone. Just in the U.S., it is estimated that half of all adults–over 100 million people–live with this condition.

In this post, I will discuss the fundamentals of high blood pressure, how to properly monitor your own blood pressure, and what you can do on a daily basis to help improve your blood pressure.

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Continue reading “Taking Control of High Blood Pressure”

Sleep Apnea: Are You At Risk?

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Do you often feel sleepy during the day? Do you feel exhausted in the mornings, despite the amount of sleep you get? Do you snore constantly? 

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. 

In this post, I will discuss exactly what this condition is, how you can find out whether you are at risk, and what you can do about it. So let’s get started!

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Continue reading “Sleep Apnea: Are You At Risk?”

An Essential Guide For Heart Health

Living with a chronic illness can feel like a constant battle.

Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and depression not only require vigilant management, but they can negatively affect your day-to-day functioning and deprive you of the quality of life you deserve.

Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart is designed to equip you with the tools you need to overcome the symptoms of pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, and stress while effectively managing and reversing the diseases that cause them. By encouraging you to create personal healthy living goals and then providing valuable tools to help you achieve them, this guide will give you the confidence you need to take control of your health.

Be inspired and revitalized as Dr. Chi takes you on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through a combination of essential health information and original poetry —a unique fusion that will both strengthen the body and touch the soul.

In Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart—Dr. Chi guides you to become empowered in the self-management of your chronic conditions, with each chapter containing practical exercises and personal health trackers to help you better monitor your conditions and manage your symptoms.

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Covered Health Topics

  • Chronic Pain
  • Stress Management 
  • Depression
  • How to be an Empowered Patient
  • Fighting Fatigue
  • Back Pain Exercises
  • Heartburn
  • Angina (Chest Pain)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Failure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Reaching Your Health Goals
  • Medication Management
  • Heart-Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity & Exercise
  • COPD, Emphysema, and Asthma
  • Insomnia & Sleep Apnea
  • Intimacy with Heart Conditions

What Readers Are Saying

“We are bombarded with daily stresses! This book helps us to decompress and focus on self-care, spirit, body and soul to reach our goals and purpose in life.” – Margaret S., Heart Failure Patient

“Dr. Chi’s book is truly a breath of fresh air. Every chapter is full of detailed but easily understood information about a variety of chronic health issues. It’s like sitting down with your personal physician but being able to understand everything rather than having to ask a lot of questions about things you just don’t “get”. The added blessing of inspiring and pertinent poetry by Dr. Chi makes this book more “personal”. An imminently “readable” book and one that I will be returning to frequently. Be inspired to care about your heart – as much as Dr. Chi does!” – Pam K.

“This is a well written book that not only covers the topics of healthy eating and exercise, but she also adds some poetry, beautiful photographs, and some sections that don’t get talked about as much as they should, but make a ton of sense. The areas of relaxation, stress relief, sleep/insomnia, intimacy and staying motivated are very important parts of a good heart healthy program. These areas are often somewhat neglected. Overall, a fabulous book, an easy read, and great for reference.” – Don P., Heart Transplant Patient 

“This book is a must have and a must read for anyone interested in attaining maximum health. As a chiropractor, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises. What I like so much about this chapter is that Dr. Chi writes to communicate with the reader, not to impress the reader. There is a kind of unique conversational tone in Dr. Chi’s writing style. The graphics and illustrations in Dr. Chi’s book are outstanding. As an additional treat, Dr. Chi provides the reader with a scattering of poems, that she has penned, throughout the book. These poems are uplifting and inspiring. They add a touch of class to the book. This book is 343 pages long. So bang for buck, it’s quite a bargain! This is a must read for anyone interested in having a healthy heart!” – Richard M., Chiropractor


Phoebe Chi MD Being Empowered for a healthy heart

Click for a Sample Chapter


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Exercises for Back Pain

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Back pain. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how debilitating it can be. In this post, I will be discussing simple exercises that you can do to strengthen your core muscles, help alleviate back pain, and prevent future injury. For a more detailed discussion on back pain, please refer to this article

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Continue reading “Exercises for Back Pain”

Being Empowered for Your Health

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Have you ever left one of your health appointments disappointed with your visit? Maybe you had just spoken to a health care professional, but instead of feeling like all of your concerns were addressed, you found yourself with even more questions? In this post, I will provide you practical tools that you can starting putting into use today that will empower you in your health care visits by helping you prepare for encounters you might have with the health care system–whether it is a routine doctor’s visit or an unexpected trip to the ER—and by helping you make the most out of your interactions with your health care professionals.

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Continue reading “Being Empowered for Your Health”

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