Monthly Archives: June 2011

Lecture 9 – Anatomic Deritaves

Lecture #9

Prefix/Suffix                            Meaning/Derivation                           Example

-oid –                                        G, appearance                                      glenoid – glenmeans socket (review); oid – having the appearance of.  Put them together – appears like a socket.  Remember the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.  Re-read past lectures so our puzzle can come together.

Omo-                                       G, scapula, shoulder                            omohyoid – a muscle at the front of the neck that consists of two bellies separated by an intermediate tendon.  This name gives a huge clue.  One end of the muscle attaches at the shoulder and the other attaches at the hyoid bone.  The more words or parts of words you know, the better student and professional you will become.  Omo- comes from the Greek word ‘omos’ which means shoulder.  I hope you are very comfortable with medical terms by now.  Some can be big, but your knowledge is becoming bigger than any word you cannot pronounce.

-otomy                                     G, to open                                            craniotomy– a surgical procedure that opens the cranium (the brain’s housing).

Para-                                        G, beside                                             paravertebral- beside the vertebra.  This adjective can be used to describe nerves, tumors, punctures, injuries, etc.  Knowing grammar helps also!  Remember to use every honest angle you have.  Sometimes simply knowing the part of speech a word can help get the correct answer on a test.  One word can change the meaning of a question or response.  (Paralegals work beside attorneys, doing research and other technical legal work.)

Super-                                      L, over                                                 superficial – superficial veins can be felt and sometimes seen, through the skin.  The word superficial describes and is thus an adjective.  Superficial wounds are on the skin or immediately beneath it.  Another usage is shallow, such as polite conversations about the weather.  I like to get to know people deeply.  The idea is that if you know a person’s challenges and triumphs, you might get to know the true person.  I hope you have a few relationships that move beyond the superficial.  (Have fun while you learn.)

Supra-                                      L, above                                              supraorbital- orbital has to do with the eye.  Supraorbital is above the eye; Infraorbital – beneath the eye.

Sym-                                        G, growing together                             symphises – the uniting of bones by a layer of cartilage.  (Example- Pubic symphises)  Syn- also means together, as in synergy.

Teres                                        L, round                                              ligamentum teres uteri           (noun) – this ligament is attached to the uterus on either side in front of and below the opening of the Fallopian tube, and passing through the inguinal canal to the labia majora.  (Also called round ligament of the uterus.)

Trans-                                      L, across                                              transfusion – Break it down – across and bringing together?  Of course we have all heard of blood transfusions.  But if you had never heard of it, you can break the word into parts.  A transfusion is a process in which whole blood or blood components are taken from one person and delivered intravenously to another person.  We will discuss transfusions in detail during the series on blood.

Tome-                                      G, cutting                                             dermatome – an instrument used for cutting thin slices of skin

Tuber-                                      L, swelling                                           tubercle – a round nodule on a bone.  (We have seen this in detail on a previous lecture.)

Lecture 10 will consist of the final five prefixes or suffixes.  There are many more to cover, but with the 80 that we have covered so far, I feel comfortable picking up the pace.  You are no longer a novice.  You should feel comfortable having an anatomical discussion with anyone.

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Lecture 8 – Anatomic Derivatives

Prefix/Suffix                            Meaning/Derivation                           Example         

Intr-                                         L, within                                              intravenous – within the vein

Linea –                                     L, line                                                  linea alba – white lineliterally, a white line of connective tissue composed of collagen.  Linea alba is formed by the fusion of the aponeuroses of the abdominal muscles, and it separates the left and right rectus abdominis muscles.  The slang ‘six-pack’ is formed by the depression between the left and right rectus abdominis muscle.  You can feel and visualize linea alba on toned individuals.  Linea alba does not contain nerves or blood vessels, making it a great place to enter the abdomen surgically.  Vanity has caused many women to desire a horizontal or ‘bikini cut’ during caesarean section.  I understand wanting to keep the school girl image, but linea alba is the best anatomical approach.  Many women complain of decreased feelings in the stomach after bikini cuts, due to all of the nerves that are severed.

Lingua-                                                L, tongue                                 lingual artery – the second branch of the external carotid artery.  Located on the underside of the tongue, this is how the tongue receives its blood supply.

Meta –                                      G, beyond                                            metatarsal – beyond the tarsal.  A group of five long bones in the foot, located between the tarsal bones of the hind- and the mid-foot, and the phalanges (toes).  (Remember:  Hands have phalanges, also.)  They do not have names, but are numbered 1 through 5, beginning at the medial side, which is the side of the big toe.  Starting with either foot, begin counting with the big toe: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th metatarsal.  The 5th metatarsal is often broken by ballerinas and is thus named ‘the dancer’s fracture.’

Myo-                                        G, muscle                                            myofascial pain syndrome- MPS- Also known as chronic myofascial pain (CMP) – A syndrome that is characterized by chronic and in some cases severe muscle pain.  It is associated with ‘trigger points’ or localized painful lumps or nodules in any of the body’s muscles or fascia.  Other symptoms include restrictive movement, referred pain, and sleep disturbances.  Do not confuse with fibromyalgia, which is similar.  The main difference is with the pattern of pain.  Fibromyalgia by definition is generalized pain, or pain that is evenly distributed above and below the waist.  MPS is localized or confined to specific areas.  It is possible to have both conditions.

Continue to review the terms we have covered the past few lectures.  We have only 16 more derivatives to cover before we build upon the knowledge of our bodies.  Following the derivatives we will do an extensive survey of bones, and proceed to an intense survey of our blood.  Many times the curriculum calls for a discussion of muscles immediately after bones.  I prefer to discuss blood immediately after bones due to the relationship between blood and bones.  Thank you for being patient and waiting on the next lecture.  I have been traveling and time has been limited.  I hope you are having a wonderful summer!


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Success Is The Best Revenge

The rhetorical question is a technique many writers use to make valuable points.  Have you ever wanted to show an opponent that you were valuable?  This is probably true for many of us, especially after a loss.  Losing can have a negative effect on the psyche if not processed properly.  The competitive spirit is common in American life.  Competition lives in the home, the office, the school, and on the playing field.  The raw numbers can define or demean.  What was your SAT score?  How did you rank on the GRE’s, LSAT or MCAT?  What is your FICO score?  America is indeed a competitive society.  After answering these questions mentally, how do you feel about your performance?  Are you prepared to answer these questions aloud?  Never fear.  Success is the best revenge and preparation is the surest road to success.

With all the competitive talk, little attention is given to preparation.  Society has become instant.  Gratification is needed now at the expense of experiencing the process.  The thought of getting the degree circumvents the process involved in learning.  We focus on the final product, the degree, instead of enjoying each class!  The sluggish economy has given the world increased awareness of the processes of life.  Most of us miss the beauty of the process.  Processes and life cycles require management, just as all other resources.  Preparation is the greatest tool for any type of competition.

Winning now and deferred wins are a part of the life cycle.  In my world, losses are deferred to as deferred wins.  Today’s loss can get us closer to tomorrow’s win.  The usage of the term ‘loser’ has systematically damaged the self esteem of many people.  It has caused many to give up and never try again.  Losing has little to do with talent or ability and much to do with the level of preparation of the player.  Sometimes our mind is not prepared for a win.  Mental preparedness is a deeper challenge than just winning the prize.  The goals of my lectures are: to explore mental preparation, sharpen academic or physical ability and discipline, and to developthe winning attitude.

Have you ever wanted to show an opponent that you were valuable?  We usually feel this way after a loss.  Losing can have a negative effect on the psyche if not processed properly.  We have heard of sore losers in the past, but now we see arrogant winners!  (For example, I do not follow sports, but feel terribly about how the NBA fans are posting pictures of the losers in dresses!)  I hope you are laughing.  Obviously, both teams have to be talented to get to the finals.  The fans of the winners are not being gracious and kind.  Channel your anger or frustration in the direction of accomplishing goals.  Living well is the best revenge.

Think back to a time that you lost a competition.  The prize may have been a government contract for your small business, a promotion lost to your rival in the office, or a scholarship sought by 1000 applicants.  What was the deciding factor for the awarding of the prize?  As a teen-ager, I competed in beauty pageants and talent shows in  the South.  Beauty pageants may sound hokey, but they are very competitive.  The competition does not stop with the contestants and the judges.  The competitive spirit spills over to the parents, the dress designers, and the cosmetic artists.  The same girls who participated in pageants in elementary school, competed for cheerleaders, drum majors, and drill team captain in high school.  By senior year, most pageant contestants had been competing for 12 years.  This is an incredible amount of experience for 18-year-old people.

Many of my rivals went on to become media personalities, politicians, executives, and attorneys.  The main ingredient needed to compete in a pageant is ‘guts’.  If you were shy, being critiqued by a room full of parents, pageant coordinators, and judges would either drive away the shyness or drive you out of the competition.  I dominated my public speaking courses in college because I had been singing in church since I was 2-years-old.  Standing before a crowd was something I had done several times each week by participating in the annual Bible Bowl (oral competitions reciting Scriptures), youth choirs, and teen community groups.  Speaking before a crowd was second nature.  I recited Bible verses at family functions on a regular basis.  Entertaining the family was a part of being a child in my family.  In high school I also traveled the country participating in America’s Future Economists.  Once again, I was writing campaign speeches and coordinating community service projects.  People said I was good at public speaking at the collegiate level, but I believe I was prepared!  Am I any better than any of you?  No, it is possible that I have just received early training.  I am an advocate for preparation.  Decide what you want to do in life and prepare to win!  Success is the best revenge!  Abandon the mean spirits and vengeance, and win by being prepared.  I will admit, there are times that we all want to show some mean-spirited people that we are capable and decent human beings.  Unfortunately, some of the people we strive to seek approval from, are not worthy of our time.  It is easy to dwell on misunderstandings and unworthy people, but we all need to focus on what is truly important.  On that note, I owe you a lecture on the importance of focus.  When I have moments where the competition has gotten to me, I remind myself to accomplish my next goal.  The energy is best spent achieving a desired goal.  We will never win everyone to our side.


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Lecture 7 – Anatomic Derivatives

Lecture 7

Key:  L- Latin, G – Greek

Prefix/Suffix                                 Derivation/Meaning       Example

Hyper-                                                 G, above, over                         hypertrophy – enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or body part due to the increased size of the constituent cells.  Hypertrophy occurs in the biceps and the heart because of increased work.  This term is also applied to the uterus during pregnancy.  (My silly hints:  If ladies save money and have fewer shopping trips, their bank accounts can ‘hypertrophy’ or enlarge!  Trophies are usually large.)  Another example, which is commonly heard is hypertension.  Abbreviated HTN, this refers to elevated blood pressure.  We will have a detailed lecture about what high blood pressure actually means.

Hypo-                                                  G, under, less                           hypotension – low blood pressure.

Infra-                                                   L, also means below                infraspinous (You should remember from the last lecture.  This is already in your master computer, which is your brain.  You just have to remember ‘where you stored this file’!)  No matter where you encounter infra-, it means below.  In construction and politics, you hear about building infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.  These underpinnings are the foundation on which we move about and do our daily activities.  You will never forget the prefix infra-.

infraspinous fossa – Just like in math, break it down to the lowest terms if you are puzzled on an exam.  Could this be a depression or low point on or near the spine?  That is the crude definition using your mastery of Latin and Greek.  The infraspinous fossa is the large, slightly concave area below the spinous process on the dorsal surface of the scapula.  We know based on breaking down the parts of the word, that the infraspinous fossa is not on the head or the foot!

Inter-                                                    L, between                               intertubercular sulcus or intertubercular groove- The tubercles of the humerus are separated by a deep groove.  (Tubercles are round nodules, small eminences, or warty outgrowths.)  This groove is also called the bicipital groove or sulcus intertubercular.)  This sulcus lodges the long tendon of the biceps brachii and transmits a branch of the anterior humeral circumflex artery.  It runs downward in an oblique fashion, and ends near the junction of the upper with the middle third of the bone.

Let’s get back to the anterior humeral circumflex artery.  You know I love to have fun with words!  Even if you never heard this term in your life, you should be able to break this word down and ‘ace’ any medical terminology test.  Anterior means towards the front; humeral refers to the humerus, or the upper arm bone; circumflex means to wrap around or encircle; and an artery carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart.  I hope you had as much fun as I did, but more importantly, I hope you ‘downloaded’ that information from your elite computer, your brain.


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Happy Father’s Day 2011

Today is another American holiday.  Am I the only one who has noticed that they seem to come every 30 days or so, demanding that we buy a card or a gift?  I love to celebrate even the smallest victories.  I was blessed with a wonderful father.  But I must admit that holidays can be a bit sad for all of us.  Some have buried their fathers, while others did not know their fathers for an assortment of reasons.  Some fathers were cold, mean, distant, or abusive in other ways.  Today I hope that you can find the good qualities in your father.  Celebrate his positive qualities.  If you are reading this message, your parents believed in life!  If nothing else, praise Dad for the fact that you can see, hear, and feel.

I have already received emails and calls from people who hate Father’s Day.  As the founder of a large organization of professional women, my phone is always ringing.  Helping women is like a religion for us.  Our by-laws state that we assist talented women in raising money, writing business plans, and achieving lofty goals.  We are successful in that regard.  But we spend far too much time dealing with the social issues of unsuspecting women.  Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women is the best kept secret.  The survivors of abusive relationships look like your noble nurse, tolerant teacher, and lovely lawyer.

Personally, I have had a hectic week of summer consulting assignments and the last week of school for my teen-agers.  In the next seven days I have a 7 day business trip across the country.  Summers are just too busy.  Although sleepy and overworked, our volunteers spent all day yesterday moving and hauling.  We had two families of women and children who needed furniture and other household items, due to impromptu moves from abusive husbands.  These women have beautiful homes, but are driven out by verbal and physical violence.  This is how we spend many holidays.  Our husbands get tired of watching us run out of the door during dinner to help women in need.

I carried my children in ‘snuggly-style’ carriers, nursed them in one arm and had a medical book in another.  Being a mother has not stopped me from pursuing my goals.  The 3 T’s have spent many days and evenings accompanying our advocates to the beautiful safe house that our organization built.  Now our eldest is old enough to drive us to perform our service projects.  My heart is really heavy today as many families are hurting emotionally and physically.  Please find some time to volunteer with your religious or civic group.  If we all work together, we can help people transform crises into opportunities.  We can all turn our next trial into a triumph.


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Lecture 6 – Anatomic Derivatives

Lecture 6

Prefix/Suffix                                 Derivation/Meaning      Example

Extra-                                                   L, outward                             extracellular – in molecular biology (also called cell biology), any bodily fluid that is not contained in cells.  Extracellular fluid is found in lymph, body cavities lined with serous (moisture-exuding) membranes, in the cavities and channels of the brain and spinal cord, in muscular and other body tissues.  It differs from intracellular fluid or fluid within the cells.  Extracellular fluid has a high concentration of sodium and a low concentration of potassium.  Intracellular fluid is the opposite and is high in potassium and low in sodium.  (Just memorize these concepts.  There are no catchy phrases on this one.)

Fossa                                                   L, ditch                                    infraspinous fossa – Just like in math, break it down to the lowest terms if you are puzzled on an exam.  Could this be a depression or low point within the spine?  That is the crude definition using your mastery of Latin and Greek.  The infraspinous fossa is the large, slightly concave area below the spinous process on the dorsal surface of the scapula.

Gastr- (gastro-)                                     G, belly                                    gastric juice- (gastric – having to do with the belly.)  This juice is a thin, strongly acidic acid, meaning it has a pH of 1 to 3.  This liquid is almost colorless and is secreted by the glands of the lining of the stomach.  Gastric juice is composed of digestive enzymes pepsin and rennin, hydrochloric acid and mucus.  Pepsin converts proteins into simpler more easily absorbed substances.  Pepsin is aided by hydrochloric acid, because it provides the acidic environment in which pepsin works best.  Rennin aids the digestion of milk proteins.  Mucus secreted by the gastric glands help protect the lining of the stomach from the action of the gastric juice.  Gastric secretion is stimulated by many hormones and chemical substances, by the presence of food in the stomach, and by psychological factors, such as the smell of a favorite food.  We are referring to a healthy gastric system.  Later we will discuss digestive disorders.

Glenoid                                                            G, socket                     glenoid fossa of scapula- or glenoid cavity, is a shallow pyriform, articular surface, which is located on the lateral angle of the scapula.  It is directed laterally and forward, and articulates with the head of the humerus.  This type of joint is classified as a synovial, ball and socket joint.  It is a shallow fossa which makes it susceptible to luxation, or dislocation.  Strong ligaments and muscles usually prevent dislocation.  Domestic violence is responsible for numerous shoulder dislocations from the victim being pulled by the arms repeatedly, and having arms twisted behind the back.  Flee all violent relationships permanently.  Prayer is great; pray from a distance.

Glosso – (gloss)                                               G, tongue                     styloglossus – a muscle.  In speaking of muscles we speak of an origin or starting place on the body, an insertion or ending place, and an action.   A muscle can originate or insert in more than one place.

Origin: anterior surface and apex of styloid process; upper quarter of stylohyoid ligament

Insertion:  superolateral sides of the tongue – (Hint – superior – upper sides, as opposed to inferior sides, which would be further down on the tongue, or away from the base of the tongue).  Keep thinking!

Action:  Retracts (pulls back) or elevates tongue;  Aids initiation of swallowing.  Swallow and take notice of its action.  It makes sense that we start swallowing at the base of the tongue and not the distal end.  The hypoglossal nerve is XII.  Lingua also means tongue in Latin.  Linguists study language.  Foreign languages are sometimes called tongues, especially in the religious setting.

We will only cover five new terms today, since we are getting very technical and covering a substantial amount of background information for each term.  Read previous notes every day before moving on to new material.  You should be comfortable with the oldest material since it is being reviewed on a regular basis.  We have 24 additional terms to cover before continuing with our discovery on bones.  Have a great day.

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The Quest for Beauty is a Beast

I love commercials.  They give me good laughs when I am having a busy day.  Every day is a busy one, but I am speaking of those days with many tight timelines.  You know the days when you have to travel to each side of town twice, and still leave a chore off the list.

I especially love the Oil of Olay commercials.  They say, “We can help you look younger, too!”  At almost $20.00 per bottle, I believe them!  In comparison to department store beauty lines, Oil of Olay is reasonable.  Macy’s and Dillard’s have some beauty creams near $100.00.  Ladies, it is possible to be beautiful on a budget.  The choices are countless.  Mayonnaise and raw eggs make a wonderful conditioner for the hair.  Lemon juice, plain yogurt, and an afternoon in the sun can give the hair some natural highlights.    The lemon juice lightens the hair and the yogurt acts as a protector against the sun’s rays.  Be sure to use sunscreen on your skin!  Mixing natural oatmeal and almonds in the blender and adding to a plain facial cream can make a nice exfoliating paste.  You can use home remedies, Dollar Store products, multi-level marketing products, or top of the line products.  Your beauty is your choice.

I have chosen organic foods since my college days.  I still spend a block of time in the beauty aisles in Whole Foods.  They know me and are not annoyed by me reading all the labels as I browse.  I have severe and life threatening allergies and must be very cautious.  You are fortunate if you can wear any lotion or just grab a new product without careful inspection.  Even with my allergies, I am doing all I can to remain youthful from the inside out.

The quest for beauty has caused some to make more permanent choices.  Permanent eyeliner, blush, and lipstick were popular in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Saline breast implants are extremely popular among models, moms, college students, and business women.  The quest for beauty is a beast!  An activist in the 1960’s coined the phrase ‘by any means necessary’, but some eager beauty buffs have taken these means to a new level in their quest to defy age.  I will never forget one of the medical secretaries at one of my previous hospitals who lived for cosmetic surgery.  She was gorgeous!  She led the way and influenced many to get some procedure performed.  Our department was full of life hearing all of the stories of these ladies looking for beauty.

I have many years of research and clinical expertise.  Having grown up in East Texas equipped me with a gentle way of dealing with people.  But my true love is academic medical world.  I love teaching tomorrow’s medical leaders and finding cures in the laboratory.  I started this morning in the usual way, with the New York Times and The Washington Post.  I read the headline articles and remained fixated on one particular article.  The article written by Joby Warrick was so powerful that I read it twice.  The title of the article is, “Officials Fear Toxic Ingredient in Botox Could Become Terrorist Tool.”  According to the article, a mysterious cosmetic trader, Rakhman, began showing up at salons in St. Petersburg, Russia offering a popular anti-aging drug at suspiciously low prices.  Rakhman showed a briefcase filed with vials and promised he could deliver “as many as you want” from a supplier in Chechnya.  The vials were actually clones of the popular drug Botox.  A larger concern is that an illegal factory in Chechnya is turning out raw botulinum toxin, the key agent in the beauty drug and one of the world’s deadliest poisons.  No factory was found in Chechnya but a search continues across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  Al Qaeda has sought botulinum toxin, according to this article.

According to Warricks’s article, the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and other groups have bought and sold counterfeit drugs to raise cash for their missions.  The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization.  Terror experts see an opportunity for terror groups to infiltrate the beauty market.  Imagine Botox as a weapon of mass destruction!  Scores of American and European women would be exterminated at the spa!  In a project sponsored by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, two scientists predicted that a biologist with a master’s degree and $2,000.00 worth of equipment could easily make a gram of pure toxin.  A gram is approximately the weight of a paper clip and enough to kill thousands.  By scientific standards, $2,000.00 worth of equipment does not constitute a sophisticated lab.  I have seen laboratories in basements of some of my colleagues’ homes that were worth $25,000.00, and are considered starter labs.

The trade name Botox, Type A, is not a weapon.  It has been used for many years to cure complaints including migraine headaches, facial tics, and wrinkles.  Eight companies worldwide are licensed to make variations of the drug.  Botox is sold in the United States only by prescription, and is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration.  Each vial contains a tiny amount of the actual toxin, a naturally occurring nerve agent secreted by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.  The amount of poison in a prescribed dose is so small that a terrorist would have to get hundreds of vials at $400.00 each, to kill a single person, according to bioterrorism experts.  It is sobering to think that terrorists are thinking of ways to harm the heart of a nation.  Mother and grandmothers seeking to extend their youth, now need to be informed about extraneous risks!  Clostridium botulinum is difficult to use as a chemical weapon in a missile because it degrades quickly when exposed to heat.  However, terror groups have planned to use the agent to contaminate food and water supplies.  Clostridium botulinim is a gram-positive rod shaped bacteria.  It can be found in soil, and is the same bacteria that produces the flaccid muscle paralysis seen in botulism.  It is anaerobic, which means it can exist without oxygen.

The door to door salesperson, Rakhman, has stopped his visits to upscale salons in St. Petersburg, Russia when local authorities began closing in.  How many more salesmen of his type exist?  These types of business people change business names and addresses frequently to evade the law.

Although, laws are more stringent in the United States, a Justice Department official raided a string of clinics in 5 states after discovering a network that traded industrial grade Botox for commercial grade Botox.  The inferior toxin, intended for laboratory research and not human use, paralyzed 4 patients.  They paid an extreme price for beauty.  The purpose of this article is not to scare, but to inform the lay public of the risks involved in making a decision of this magnitude.  Elective procedures are popular and accepted in our modern society.  Consumers should perform due diligence research on each elected procedure, to include a list of questions to your physician regarding the pros and cons of the procedure, and any possible complications.  It is also wise to ask the number of successful procedures completed in the office, and whether or not the clinician would consider the procedure herself.

Maturing gracefully is an art that we all need to master.  Updating a hairstyle has the power to transform a look without drastic consequences.  Going from shoulder length to jaw length can remove years from any lady.  Buying a sports car can also restore a feeling of youthfulness!  Selling your home and moving into a condominium can have a dramatic effect.  If all that fails, take tennis or golf lessons, and let the grandchildren teach you how to play video games!  Non-invasive facial treatments at the spa or dermatologist’s office are also an option.  I am not against an elected procedure if it can increase self-esteem.  I advocate being a wise medical consumer and setting realistic boundaries.  All patients should go to the doctor’s office with a folder or composition book with questions, applicable articles, and space to take notes.  Your physician or nurse practitioner will appreciate your interest and initiative regarding your own care.  I recommend a book called Beyond Botox: Seven Tips for Sexy Ageless Skin Without Needles or Surgery.  The book was written by Ben and Howard Kaminsky, who are a pharmaceutical chemist and dermatologist, father and son team.  Their book was published by Spinboard Press in 2006.  Botox has worked for many, but the side effects include droopy eyelids and uncontrolled drooling of the mouth.  These side effects rare, but are far from beautiful.

Mothers and grandmothers are very special people.  When I was a child my grandmother’s door was always open, literally!  It meant that all were welcome without an appointment.  Today’s grandmothers love their families just as much, but have a busier agenda.  I have met some who have thriving post-retirement careers as poets, extras on television sit-coms, storytellers, and crafts retailers.  The doors of their hearts are open, but you need to make an appointment before you drop into their homes.  There is no right or wrong style of life for retirement.  Each individual decides their vision for their life.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is defined in many ways.  I was taught that you were pretty if you acted pretty.  Each of you is unique and beautiful.  I hope you have been enlightened by the information that was shared.  Continue to seek new information daily to have the highest quality of life.  Beauty does not have to have beastly consequences!


This speech was prepared for a group of retired ladies in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.


1          The Washington Post, “Officials Fear Toxic Ingredient in Botox Could Become     Terrorist Tool,” Joby Warrick, January 25, 2010.

2          Clostridium Botulinum, Journal of Immunology, 2010

McKellar-Ntaka Lectures

Copyright Pending February 10, 2010

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