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Tips to Prevent Getting an Infectious Disease While on Vacation

Dr. Brent W. Laartz thought he was in for the ride of his lifetime when he set out on a horseback riding excursion in Costa Rica.

Admittedly younger and more naïve than he is today, Laartz – an infectious disease specialist and author of the book How to Avoid Contagious Diseases…

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Out of the Fire Came Me, a Roasted Marshmallow


When we were in Chicago we roasted marshmallows. As I reflected back on that day & on the last 6 months of my life, I couldn't help but draw a parallel. Sometimes, life's like a marshmallow. As a marshmallow, here I am, all white & fluffy. Safe in my plastic bag with all my other marshmallow-peeps. And then, just like that, I'm taken from that safe place & stuck onto a sharp stick! I know, crazy, right?! And if that isn't painful enough, I'm then lowered over a hot, blazing fire. But the fire doesn't DESTROY the marshmallow, does it? It only CHANGES the marshmallow. And then the marshmallow is removed from the fire--and in the eye of the beholder--better than it was before. In my lifetime, I've endured 2 clinical bouts with depression--in 1999-2000 & in 2009-2010. As I look at both times, I ain't gonna lie, it sucked! But I also ain't gonna lie & tell ya that it was all a waste. Getting back to the "eye of the beholder," who do you think that is? Who looks at that new, roasted marshmallow & is pleased that it's better than it was before? God. And if God's the one taking me, the marshmallow, from my bag of comfort, poking a stick thru me, holding me in the fire, taking me out & looking at me, saying "Well done!" Then I can look at the stick, the fire, & say, "God, if I am better to you, then it was all worth it."

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