Born a Miracle: The Story of a Man

By Kevin Ishimwe | Featured Contributor


1994 was the year…
All odds stacked against me,
mother in agony

my future seemed so uncertain
she wondered if I will ever live
to tell my story.

Determined to pacify the fear
hovering my beloved country,

She found delight in the Most High
to get her through her darkest moments
clinging on to faith,
she followed the path set before her

to bring me into this world
by any means necessary.
Her dream realized, she called me
Miracle of the Most High.

So now I’m living my life
like I’m on the clock

Making the most
of every moment

Grateful for the purpose
laid out before me

Rising to every knock,
before my clock runs out

Like I’m on my last go around

Just to let her know that her birth pains were worth it.

Continue reading “Born a Miracle: The Story of a Man”

The Small Things: A Reminder for Today

By Surakshya Kiju (Coco) | Featured Contributor


The small things in life aren’t really all that small.
They’re the things that make life real.
Takes your happiness to a whole new level.
Keeps you from feeling lost in an empty world.

We try so hard but we’re only human.
We can’t help it. We’re always on the run.
Always trying to meet expectations.
To label you as rose and not the thorn.

But when you find something that makes you forget it all;
A passion, a hobby or even alcohol
that pulls you through the tragedies that befall,
then how can you label that something as small?

Something that makes you live in the now.
Something you connect with without any vows.
Something that you think the world of.
Something that gives you meaning of love.


We only have one life. One chance to do it all. To do everything that we want, to enjoy living to the fullest. So why are we wasting it on the worries of tomorrow? Especially when we know that worrying isn’t gonna change anything at all. Most of the things we worry about end up not happening at all. All worrying about tomorrow does is steal away your present. So why don’t we live in the now instead and leave tomorrow’s worry for tomorrow?

Continue reading “The Small Things: A Reminder for Today”

You Are Strong

By Hanna | Featured Contributor


Sometimes Strong Is:

Taking a break
Having a cry
Listening to your body
Holding your tongue
Asking for help
Saying you can’t
Getting out of bed
Turning around
Feeling grateful
Feeling scared
Feeling helpless
Slowing down
Being mindful
Not knowing
Trusting
Loving with your whole heart
Wanting with your whole heart
Breathing through the pain
Just being here
Existing.

My dear reader, thank you for reading! I do hope you enjoyed. I wrote this poem for myself when I was in a lot of pain, but really this poem is for you. Let me explain…

Continue reading “You Are Strong”

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”

Promote Your Blog! [closed]

Dear Friends,

Happy June! This weekend, I again open up PhoebeMD.com for another Meet & Greet event. Remember, this is your moment to shine! This was originally started on PhoebeMD as a dedicated time for you all to come together to share blogs and favorite posts, make new connections, and expand your blog audiences.

The guidelines, like always, are very simple…

Continue reading “Promote Your Blog! [closed]”

To Not Lose Hope

We have highs and we have lows
The power is in our hands
We can dance or
We can cry
It’s up to us
To make the right decision.

Yes it’s hard
Like pushing a wall
That doesn’t seem to move
But once you look back
You’ll see you’ve come so far.

So don’t lose hope
When things are bad
Just hang in there
You are bound to reach
The top of the hill soon.

Victoria Abah

Thank you, Victoria, for these encouraging words.
Let us never lose hope.

Wishing you all a restful weekend.
🌷

Keeping the Faith

By Pam Kimmell | Featured Blogger


The road that we each travel
Is full of twists and turns
There are detours and temptations
Lessons each of us must learn.

If life was always perfect
And we never faced the bad
We’d have no real reflection
Of the happy times we’ve had.

Adversity brings the challenge
Of working towards new goals
Finding new solutions
Is balm for weary souls.

God never gives us more to handle
Than he knows we can take on
Remember following the darkest times
God provides a bright new dawn.

Continue reading “Keeping the Faith”

A Ballad of Hope Amid a Time of Crisis

By Forrest Rivers | Featured Author


The year was 2020.

The world was plagued by a pandemic
that inflicted mass casualties
across the land.

But set against this backdrop
of death, fear and deprivation,

A movement of higher consciousness
was well underway.

Driven into isolation
to control the deadly virus,

Citizens of the world
came to have gratitude

for all the little things
they had taken for granted:

Smiles from passing strangers,
Sentimental hugs,
Uplifting time spent with
dear friends and family

And the sweet joys of
live song and dance

Were all things sorely
missed and remembered

Nostalgically….

Continue reading “A Ballad of Hope Amid a Time of Crisis”

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)”

Just a Man

By Colin Chappell | Featured Author


He listened;
He understood;
He befriended;
He cared.

All the courage he gave me,
By just being there,
Made me feel like
I wanted to live.
He gave me so much
Yet… had so little to give…
But his time.

I realized later
There was so much more.
I was indebted to that man
And… what’s more,
To experience the caring
of someone unknown

made me wonder.
Who else was out there alone?

Continue reading “Just a Man”

Let Us Be Those

When all are in trial,
When all are in denial,
Let me be the one
to share a smile.
Let me be the one
to share a dance.
Let it be an advance,
to be enhanced,
when all are weary,
let me be the one
to share thinking clearly,
to share being ever so cheery.

This is what I ask.
Because I don’t want us to wear a mask.
So let us join hand-in-hand, for this to be our task.

Autumn H.

Lovely words by Autumn reminding us to always encourage and uplift each other.

May we be those willing to share a smile…even from a distance.

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend.

💙

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”

Respite from a Pandemic

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Author


When in isolation,
and the feeling overwhelms,
remember the love within you.
Look to your heart
and the fullness there,
the fullness that swells
with your sweet attention to it.

You are not alone.

You are the branch
which stretches and shades
from every tree you have sat under.
You are the sea spray
that has kissed your face
from every stroll on the beach.
You are the joy
of your beloved pet
who always blesses you
with pure affection.
You are the song
that the morning bird sings.
You are even the touch
of every hand held
and every embrace shared.

Continue reading “Respite from a Pandemic”

Get Your Poetry Featured on PhoebeMD!

Do you write poetry and have an encouraging or uplifting poem to share? Would you like to inspire the PhoebeMD community while broadening your own blog readership?

If so, I welcome you to submit your poem to be considered for publication.

Continue reading “Get Your Poetry Featured on PhoebeMD!”

Share Your Blog [closed]

Dear Friends,

Happy May! This weekend, I again open up PhoebeMD.com for another Meet & Greet event. Remember, this is your moment to shine! This was originally started on PhoebeMD as a dedicated time for you all to come together to share blogs and favorite posts, make new connections, and expand your blog audiences.

The guidelines, like always, are very simple…

Continue reading “Share Your Blog [closed]”

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”

Rise Up and Live

Life isn’t about
Hunting happiness,
Hiding sadness,
Mountain of moments,
Treasure of breaths.

It’s about
Rising up the sun,

For others
and

For yourself.

Navnidhi

Thank you, Navnidhi, for this beautiful reminder.
Wishing all a lovely day.
💚

The Strength in You

Never forget
how far you’ve come.

Everything you have
gotten through.

All the times
you have pushed on
even when you felt
you couldn’t.

All the mornings
you got out of bed
no matter how hard it was.

All the times
you wanted to give up
but you got through
yet another day… 

Never forget how much strength you have learned and developed along the way.

Wishing you all a safe and lovely weekend.
💙

Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis]

My experience with measles encephalitis taught me a great deal. The greatest realization was that I could change my destiny. I had every reason to remain in the wheelchair because of the attention, sympathy, and love that not only I but also my parents received because of their poor little girl. But the attention from others could not offset the loneliness, the feelings of being diminutive and helpless, and the boredom.

Continue reading “Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story”

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”

A New Day

I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life,
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.

-John O’Donohue

I am thankful for today…for today is a new day.
Wishing you a blessed one.
💙

 

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!”

A Physician’s Plea.

A message rekindled for the caregivers of today…


A medical student. A simple question.

“How am I supposed to go on caring?”

At the time, suggestions abound.
Work-life balance. Self-care. Hobbies.
Remembering our initial calling.
Remembering we still make a difference.
Remembering our love for medicine
and the privilege we have as caregivers.

But then the realization-
I don’t know the answer.

I only know that I have witnessed around me-
at every stage of training and practice-
evidence of emotional exhaustion.
Dissatisfaction.
Disillusionment.

Burnout.

So this is my plea…

Continue reading “A Physician’s Plea.”

To Be Human

“If you start living for the smallest reasons,
that’s when you know you’re really living.

The smell of rain after a thunderstorm,
the shades of pavements when it’s autumn,
the mediocre midnights and the color of the sunsets,
the warmth of oven when baking Christmas cookies,
the thickness of paper when flipping through magazine pages,
the smell of new books and new clothes and new things.

When you start looking at things,
really really looking,
you’ll start living.

Because then you’ll understand how it is to really be a human…
in this world full of people.”

May we recognize the treasure within the little things.
Wishing you a beautiful day.
💙

 

Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression

By Chris Reed, Featured Contributor


James Hillman told me
the demons will come
at night in old age,
and will settle
on my bed,
on my chest,
in my hair,
in my head,
in my guts,
and prod me awake.

Befriend them he says.
They are your demons.
They are here to help.
And know you are 
enough worn with years
to be not afraid.

Drink tea.
Pay heed.
Converse.

If you look them in the eye,
know you’ll soon be gone,
so don’t care what they think,
they will give you quarter
and disarm.

Then you can hold them close,
like children,
with sharp claws and teeth,
and comfort them.
For their torments are yours;
their shadows are your shadows.

Hand in hand in the night,
no one is afraid of the dark.

Continue reading “Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression”

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]”

Grief: Healing Through Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 2 – Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother]

I processed grief over Mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s through poetry writing. The fact that caregivers—such as myself and many other poets—can relieve grief through poetry supports my belief that poetry is both the memoir of and the medicine for the soul. Poetry is a means to storytelling, witnessing the human condition in a personal way. What am I thinking, praying, hoping for? How am I hurting? What has happened to me? How can I understand it? How can I share it? Who will witness my pain?

Poetry provides a creative outlet for the release of pain, for healing. It explores the soul. Reading the poems of others who have gone through similar experiences as mine is reassuring because I realize that I am not alone. I could also share my experiences of loss and grief.

Continue reading “Grief: Healing Through Poetry”

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