Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pre Surgery

I was scheduled for a 45-minute phone consultation with the anesthesia department.  They were to call between 9-11 am.  I arranged clients accordingly. They did not call.  I called them.  “Oh, my, I need to talk to the supervisor; you were supposed to be the first call.”  Another call comes in.  It is the person I was scheduled with, apologizing for being late.  We went over the prep and arrangements.

I chose to remain optimistic that their timing will be accurate during surgery.


When I turned forty, I decided to not refer to people by their titles anymore (Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Professor, Father, etc.).  I was an adult and we could all be on a first name basis.  I have followed this decision.  I encourage my clients to call me Natalie, not Dr. Gelman.  I respect whatever choice they make.

Last night I went to a small social gathering to interact with the new Rabbi of the Temple I belong to.  A woman asked her what her first name was.  She replied, “Rabbi.”  She clarified that she would not share her first name because she wants to be called Rabbi in any setting that has to do with her professional role.

I respect her decision.  I will not be close to her.

A Day Off

Yesterday was Sunday.  I had no plans until noon.  I began by making baby back ribs. Then I washed the upholstery on my sofa; there had been a couple of stains.  That meant adding some laundry to the wash. Then I washed the windows on the inside.  Then I wiped the front of the refrigerator.  Then I went to Rhythmix for a special event. Then I came home and read.  Fixed dinner.  Discovered that my DVR screwed up my recordings and spent the remainder of the evening on the phone with AT&T, the second time this week.

I went to the gym this morning and worked off stress.


It is difficult to be with someone who you believe is using too much medication.  It is certainly a subject that has caused a good deal of concern.  When working with clients who are trying to encourage someone they love to use less medication for pain, I find much frustration is felt.  There are only two people who can address how much medication is used: the doctor and the patient.  Most doctors are reducing use because they have to.  It is their decision what to prescribe and attention is being paid by pharmacies.  Hopefully the patient follows the prescribed amount.  But the friend or relative has no power, and that can be a difficult situation because all that can be done is offer an opinion and provide support and care.

Down Time

I like to be busy.  Between seeing clients and attending meetings, I have a very full week.  I do manage to fit a breakfast or lunch with a friend into my schedule about once a week.

On the weekend, I like having a day to myself.  I watch movies on my t.v.   I will sit for 45 minutes, pause the film and take a break.  I am accountable to no one.  My break may last one minute. It may last ten.  I may decide the film is not worth continuing.

I eat when I feel like it.  I call friends or family.  I play games on the computer.

Free time.  Nice.

Time With My Daughter

I moved to California to be near my children and grandchildren.  The right choice.

Carrie and I decided to spend July 4th together.  She came to Alameda.  We passed on the parade.  We passed on going out to eat.  We stayed home.

We prepared lunch together and watched a video on UTube made years ago by a woman I knew In Michigan. We were active in NARAL and MARAL for years together.  It was informative and touching to recall our involvement.  Carrie participated in most of my feminist activities and moved on to do so herself in a multitude of ways.

We talked… about things that are important to each of us.  Intimacy has always come easily for us.  We cry, we laugh, we nod.  We understand.  We empathize.


Pay It Forward

I wrote before about needing to change planes to get to LA.  I was put on standby on one plane and has a reservation on a second one.

I went to the gate for the standby and told the agent I was aware there were people ahead of me, but I was needing to get to LA to accompany my daughter for outpatient surgery that day.  He indicated his obligation to take people in order.

I walked away to charge my phone.  A woman came up to me and told me she overheard my story to the agent.  She said she told him to give me her ticket if her name was called.  “Your need is much greater than mine,” she said.  I got teary and thanked her.

Just then, she told me her name had been called.  As I approached the counter, the agent said, “Natalie?”  He knew about the change.  I got the ticket.

As I was getting on the plane, the woman again came up to me and said her name had been called to.  I was relieved.

In light of the political nature of this country right now, having genuinely caring people is a timely balance to many attitudes.

A True Help

I was flying to LA to see my daughter Julie.  She was having outpatient surgery at noon and I was to accompany her.  My flight was at 6 am.  Once we were on the plane, the flight was cancelled for technical problems.  I got in line to reschedule and I called Delta.  I discovered the only possibility was to fly after Julie was in surgery.

Before I actually made a commitment, a Delta worker in a red jacket asked if he could help me.  I told him my story and indicated there were two Southwest flights I could take.  He told me there is no reciprocity with Southwest.  I expressed my disappointment.  He then suggested he walk me to Southwest to see if I could get on one of the flights.

He actually walked me to a Southwest gate and told my story to the agent.  I decided to pay for the ticket as my priority was to get there.  He told me he was going back to the Delta gate to cancel my flight to LA and assure I would be able to return on my arranged flight with Delta.  He also said he was giving me a credit of $100 on Delta. He said when I finished with Southwest, I should get the documents from him.

He walked away and the Southwest agent said, “Did he really walk you over here to help you?”  I indicated he had and she said, “I have never had another agent do that.  He is a really nice guy.”

I agree.  Thanks, Velter.


Until I moved to California six years ago, I always had two dogs.  Where we are renting, we are not allowed to have any pets.

I had a dream that three different people had each found a dog that needed a home and brought the dog to me.  Now I had three dogs I was not allowed to have.  I jolted awake as I panicked in my dream about how to place the dogs elsewhere.  I truly wanted all three of them.

My neighbor has a service dog.  People have encouraged me to apply for a service dog designation.  This would mean my landlord would have to let me have the dog.

I don’t need a service dog.  It would be unethical to proceed.

My loss.

Ask a Question

A seventeen-year-old client of mine told me she was very upset with her father.  He had picked her up at dance class and when she got into the car, he said, “Oh, in one of your fowl moods again.”

She has been going through some mood swings lately, but not atypical for her age.  She admitted that she was feeling a bit down after dance class.

I asked her what she would have preferred when she got into the car.  She said, “It would have been nice if he had said, ‘How are you doing?’ I am very bothered by him commenting on my down feelings as though I am doing something wrong.”

A worthwhile awareness and important insight for many people.