Category Archives: support

Inspired by philanthropy

Christmas gift of health inspires

Going to a hospital is never easy. We’ve all been there during our lifetime at least once when we were born. Last Friday, I accompanied my lifelong partner Ludek to Metro Health for left heart catheterization with possible intervention at the Metro Hospital in Wyoming.

I was actually the designated driver on this trip. We packed our bags, because we didn’t know if we were going to stay overnight depending on the outcome of the procedure. The sarcastic locals dub Metro as Hotel 6 since it sits directly on freeway M-6.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions.  The doctor inserts  a long thin tube called a catheter in an artery or vein in the wrist, neck or groin and threads it through the bloods vessels to the heart.

It was a follow-up to the echo stress test that showed possible narrowing of the blood vessels, that in turn causes chest pains and difficulty breathing. Ludek had been complaining of breathing difficulties.

We got to the hospital at noon. We first went to the Metro Cafe because I was starving, but Ludek had to fast. The enormous cafeteria was full with staff and visitors. It boasted that everything was made from scratch. Actually the salad was delicious. They also had a Subway there.

Walking side by side with nurse Leann we passed the Coffee Bar and the hospital boutique  on our way to Cath Lab. The staff hooked up Ludek to all the necessary equipment showing vitals in Bay 9.


After that it was mostly waiting. The procedure was delayed twice due to previous complications with other patients.  While Ludek got some sleep, it was introspective time for me. Then finally Dr. Larry Diaz, cardiologist, entered to inform us what’s going to happen. Dr. Diaz was wearing a  biker’s cap with word Venezuela on it, a shielded floral apron and he had a slight accent.

We introduced ourselves.

“I am Dr. Diaz and you?” he asked.

“I am Emma,” I said.

“My daughter’s name is Emma,” he said.

“Are you from Venezuela?” I asked boldly.

“Yes, born and raised there until 24,” he said. “A long time ago.”

We discussed the procedure with all the possible outcomes including bleeding and death.

“The positives outweigh the negatives,” he said.

I was far from being calm, but once you’re this far into it, you have no other choice then to stay. I wanted to run so bad. Once they hauled Ludek into the surgery room at 3:21 p.m., I left Bay 9 quickly.

I walked through the hallways around the Healing Garden atrium to the Metro Cafe to replenish fluids. It was really cold and dry in the entire building. I got some Peace Tea with Georgia peach flavor and stared into the Healing Garden at the art on the wall, the bare trees, and at the chairs and tables that had snow for cushions.


Luckily, I was there by myself  with only a student working on his computer. The lunch buzz was gone.  The bins designated for trash were marked “compost.” A chain link wall closed off the check-out registers from the other side of the Cafe.

I felt grateful to philanthropists Bill & Bea Idema who made the Healing Garden possible. The daylight was leaving us gradually under the dark clouds. I had pager #614 on me, so the cath lab staff could reach me anywhere in the building except for the Coffee Bar.

I passed a big waterfall sign with rolling water over the donor plaques with the inscription: Inspired by Philanthropy. The hospital was celebrating 25 years of philanthropy.

Restless, I changed location to the Reflection Seating area overlooking the atrium closer to the cath lab. I was exhausted over all the possibilities of what could happen. I didn’t want to stay there overnight.

“How could I ever consider being a doctor?” I asked myself. “I can’t even stand being here.”

Yes, at one point in my life, I actually wanted to be a doctor, specifically a cardiologist.

I got lost in my thoughts staring into the garden behind the glass wall. If it was summer, I would have been sitting there, but then I wouldn’t have been able to keep my lunch salad leftovers in the car.

I called our son Jake after seeing endless messages on the phone. It was comforting to speak to an outsider about something else than catheters and moderate sedation with  opioid  analgesic fentanyl.


“How is dad?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet,” I said. “He just went in.”

Jake, a chronic complainer, talked about the rotten healthcare system.

“Well, at least, it’s available to us,” I said. “Can you imagine in the Third World countries, you would just die.”

We talked about Christmas with Jake stirring my focus away from the tension of the moment. It helped. After the phone call, I pulled out the classic “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore out of my computer bag, and read it. I bought it for our grandkids. I started translating it into Czech for our Christmas Eve bilingual performance at Jake’s house. It did wonders for me. I forgot I was in a hospital with the husband having a serious heart procedure done.


A call from mom Ella in Florida put me back into the reality of the hospital on a Friday evening. The staff was rapidly deserting it. The labyrinth of hallways was growing  Silent.

“Can you get me my medication from Big Rapids?” she asked. “Next time, when I go to Florida, I’ll take a U-Haul.”

“I got to go,” I said as the pager started vibrating and blinking red like crazy.

It was 5:06, when I re-entered Bay 9. Just in time for Ludek being hauled back in from the surgery room. He had a bloody wrist and some contraption on it. He was smiling and so was the nurse.

“He’s good to go,” jumped in Diaz giving us two thumbs up. “He can shovel snow now. He had no blockages, there was nothing to fix.

“Merry Christmas.”

I gave him a big hug. The biggest hug that I could give.

“Thank you Dr. Diaz.”

Ludek had his arm all bandaged up, like it was broken.

We left the building around 7 p.m. Ludek said he saw stars from the sedation, but other than that he was feeling okay.

As I drove through the wintery night through the city with homes decorated for Christmas, I felt relieved with the outcome; no balloons, no stents to fix blockages in the arteries.

“The arteries feeding your heart are clear,” Dr. Diaz’s words resonated in my ears.

Ludek got the best Christmas gift. That is the gift of health.

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.


Happy Valentine’s Day

May all your sweet dreams come true today and every day, because every new day is a celebration in our lives.

Sladkosti k svatemu Valentynovi a ke vsem svatkum. Desserts for your sweetheart for Saint Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Also in response to the Daily Post prompt:

Check out the recipe for the lush Saint Isidore dessert with rum and walnuts at

<a href=””>Lush</a&gt;

Top recepty

Source: Svatek Svateho Valentyna

Writer’s love picks for February

February drives creative work to fruition

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

There is something about the month of February, you can call it atmospheric . I was thinking that even before I heard that at a therapeutic meeting earlier this week.

Maybe it’s the overall ambience of the month in between the deep freeze of January and the much coveted  arrival of spring in March. If I were to pin the season to the catholic calendar, it is usually the purple time of Lent, except for this year since Lent arrives late with Ash Wednesday falling on March 1.

“Everything is going to be late this year,” my husband Ludek, a chronic complainer, said. “We’re going to have a late Easter.”

No kidding, the Easter Sunday falls on April 16 this year. But, the good news is, the trees here Up North in Michigan will have leaves, and maybe even early blossoms and spring flowers.

We had rain on Tuesday, grayish nothing on Wednesday, a deep freeze on Thursday along with a creepy full moon, and now we are recovering from 20 plus minus degree temperature swings as the work week finally wraps up.

My body” loves” these roller coaster temperatures, and my mind and mood swing accordingly with them.

With the sunshine on Monday, I was at a reasonable high as I met with friends at the “Gathering Place” to discuss progress in our common therapy.

“You know, this really works, let’s do it next Monday again,” T. G. as always was very encouraging.

“I have a lot more stories to tell,” said our new buddy Wendy.

And the mid-week meeting somewhere in the woods next to the old stage-coach road was also a success, all things considered.

I do feel grateful for this overall February gap in between the novelty of the new year 2017 and the onset of spring. This February gap finally allowed me to fill the empty spaces on my huge 17-months desktop calendar with my creative work.

Along with Ludek, we made an executive decision that I will self-publish my collection of short stories “Glass Flowers” Copyright (c)2017 Emma Palova. On Thursday, I started pulling the collection of 20-some short stories together after literally years of searching the publishing “maze.”

That search included everything from participating in Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contests, submitting my short stories to literary magazines, of which, many no longer exist, submitting manuscripts to Writer’s Conferences and of course looking for an agent.

This all-inclusive escapade involved interviews with sales people from several publishing houses that have gone the self-publishing route as well.

“You know Amazon is moving quite fast on this,” said the sales person from Author’s Publish. “We’re keeping an eye on them.”

“Thank you Mr. E. for the tip,” I concluded a series of several hour-long phone interviews after my ear almost fell off. I decided to join the self-publishing mainstream.

Stay tuned for more of my “Publishing Escapades.” Have a great weekend, and a great February. Don’t forget it’s the month of the heart and love. Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Also some neat events this weekend include:

“Champagne and chocolates” at the Flat River Gallery in downtown Lowell this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more info go to

Screening of the “Interlude” at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts  in Grand Rapids.

Love always,


This post is also in response to the Daily Post prompt @Ambience


Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

BlogHer conference connects

BlogHer conference in NYC July 17 & 18

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

I am sharing this through my new blogger friend Cheryl Stober, a syndicated blogger on the  BlogHer platform. She has been blogging for eight years, at a time when I was chasing after stories and yawning at  township meetings for print media.

“You gotta cover that,” said the editor also yawning, “It’s our bread and butter you know.”

Among hundreds of posts, Stober caught my attention with her nice piece about getting ready for the conference. I was bummed that I couldn’t go so I literally devoured the article and commented and I got a comment back. And there you go we were friends.

My new BlogHer buddy Cheryl Stober
My new BlogHer buddy Cheryl Stober

“I hope to meet you at the conference next year,” she wrote. “Follow me on @cherylstober.”

Her article included getting new business cards and clothes for the event. Of course fashion police at these conferences are on their toes.

Today, Stober tweeted she had lunch with my favorite Glee star, Gwyneth Paltrow. who is a keynote speaker at the conference. I am jealous, no just kidding.

Following #BlogHer15 via Cheryl Stober
Following #BlogHer15 via Cheryl Stober






Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Coach Leigh Ann Dickey

Coach Leigh Ann Dickey shares her passion for design & blogging, inspires others

Name: Leigh Ann Dickey

Occupation: registered respiration therapist, self-employed, website design

Education: associates degree in health sciences-respiratory therapy, certificate in health coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Oct. 2014

Residence: Gainesville, Georgia

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – Leigh Ann Dickey wanted to share her story of losing 35 pounds when she joined the nutrition school. Dickey started out with a page on facebook, Instagram and a blog on WordPress two years ago using tutorials and mentors.

“I developed a nice site,” she said.

Coach Leigh Ann Dickey loves helping people.
Coach Leigh Ann Dickey loves helping people.

Dickey was offering a weight loss product. But when she sustained a head injury on her bicycle, Dickey took the site down.

Since she has always liked design Dickey wanted to master WordPress. She already had a great feather in her cap; 12 years of HTML coding. Dickey completely coded her animal charity site herself from the start.

She took a WordPress class to get up to speed in 2013 & 2014.  Dickey joined the Learn to Blog in 2014, but found out that she already knew a lot of the stuff from the WordPress classes.

The biggest challenge of blogging for Dickey was targeting her niche.

“I felt tossed around,” Dickey said in a Skype interview last week. “I was posting and sharing trying to target my niche. I went all over the place.”

 She tried health & fitness, business coaching and design. It wasn’t until recently she found that her real passion was teaching and coaching. So, Dickey launched her Soulpreneurs this week. Soulpreneurs is a membership site on the Genesis framework.

But, before that Dickey started a WordPress support group on facebook.

“It used to be enough to have a facebook page two years ago, but now you have to create a group,” she said.

Two years ago with a budget of $150, Dickey could increase traffic to her facebook page to 3,600.

However, two years in an online business is eternity.

“That was old school,” she laughed. “Start a facebook group not a page. Find like-minded people. Join other groups inside of facebook.”

Dickey offered a lot of advice for newbie bloggers. Number one on the advice list is determining your niche.

“It all starts with ourselves knowing what we enjoy doing,” she said, “And then turn that into business. People should ask themselves what is it that they enjoy doing all day long.”

According to Dickey, the advantages of realizing what you really like to do are the following:

  • You best will know a lot about it.
  • It will be easy to develop products and services around your niche or like.
  • Then you have to boil it all down to specific types that is; rather than pets narrow it down to dogs and then go further, different breeds and such.

In response to what she likes about blogging, Dickey was very spontaneous.

“I enjoy the process of creating that plays into my geeky side telling the story,” she said. “I enjoy helping people.”

Blogging was a life changing experience for Dickey who had suffered a head injury.

“Blogging helped me get past something and I relate that to overcoming obstacles in business and in life. It’s just human nature to get that feedback.”

The second part of Dickey’s story with more valuable advice will appear later this week. Stay tuned and feel free to comment with your advice.

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.