This is a picture of me with Hannah, my wonderful vocal coach I’ve been working with since December of 2015.

This is a picture of me with Hannah Anders, my wonderful vocal coach whom I’ve been working with since December of 2015.

I love the concept of “take the best and leave the rest.” It can be applied to so many parts of my life.

I’ve had three wonderful voice teachers and have learned from all of them. Sometimes I’ve been confused when concepts collide and contradict what I’ve learned before.

This just reminds me to “take the best and leave the rest.” I trust that I can decide what is best for me personally. For certain, working with a vocal coach is not just about refining techniques and gaining confidence. It has also been great therapy for me.

I’ve been struggling and last week I saw Hannah even though I wasn’t feeling that great. Below is a short clip of us talking from my most recent lesson.


My eyes were so much more manageable since I went to an outside ophthalmologist earlier this year. But I wasn’t satisfied – I kept searching for something that would make them feel even better.

Because there weren’t any remedies left for me to try with my corneal specialist through my HMO, I decided to see a Naturopathic (NT) doctor. She came highly recommended.

Since working with her, my eyes are significantly better. I bathe them in coconut oil before going to bed every night. In the morning, they aren’t uncomfortable like they used to be.

Last week, I had an appointment for a follow-up with my NT doctor. Before my appointment, I visited with a good friend who lived close by.

My friend enjoyed camping and hiking with her husband. I listened to her share her recent adventures and felt a slight pang inside. It reminded me of what I had once wished for in my failed marriage. My latest news revolved around my health issues and the rat that plagued my apartment, so my sad feelings were understandable.

I shared with her how a few nights earlier I had heard a rat again in my closet. I jumped from my bed, threw open the closet door and hissed, “Shoo!”

My heart was pounding as I crawled back into bed. Suddenly, I heard a scuttle across the floor and thought I felt my covers moving. It was like I was in a horror movie; I shrieked and ran into my oldest son’s bedroom at 5 a.m.

He took a flashlight and checked under my bed and didn’t see anything. When he shined the light into my closet we could both see rat poops all over. He reached in and gingerly picked up a shredded, half-eaten chocolate bar.

I said, “Oh, my God, I probably hid that somewhere a long time ago and that animal found it!”

It was hard not to laugh while telling my story; humor always helped me. I appreciated my friend’s sympathy.

I switched from humor to being serious. I said, “I love how you go camping. I wish I knew what to do. I feel like I need to run away from where I’m living, but I have no idea where to go.”

She was thoughtful and helped me reframe my statement.

She pointed out that running away was a negative thought. Instead she suggested I run toward something positive and nourishing for my soul.

I wasn’t leaving my apartment because I was miserable. I was leaving to find some joy!


My appointment with my naturopathic doctor was enlightening. She felt the two rounds of antibiotics I was prescribed a month earlier had harmed my gut and worsened my condition. Also, my gastroenterologist had given me powerful acid blockers and she hoped I could get off of them as soon as possible.

This was definitely a case of “take the best and leave the rest.” I had to decide what was best for me. It was her idea to request an endoscopy, which was a very good thing indeed. And I was elated that my eyes were so much better – it seemed like the coconut oil remedy she had given me was working. But she also instructed me to give up swimming, because she felt chlorine was toxic.

I was struggling with depression and really missed swimming laps because it always cleared my mind.

With my new air purifier running 24/7 and my coop’s air ducts cleaned I felt some relief. I had my closet thoroughly cleaned and called for an exterminator to come out. A young man set plenty of rattraps in my apartment and was also assigned to place poison bait all around the coop complex.

I hadn’t heard the rat in my closet for two weeks. It was still hard to relax because I kept imagining the moment when a trap would snap shut with a squealing rat in it. I kept wondering how I’d dispose of the rat if it was still alive and I was home alone.

Because of my persistent cough, I gave up singing and recording my songs. Although I had my “healing song,” I found myself weepy and depressed. I wasn’t sure whether to take a voice lesson with Hannah, but last week I went. Being with her definitely lifted me up. This week I had a barium test scheduled instead of a lesson. Thankfully, I was told I did not have a hiatal hernia.

My ears were still bothering me after I finished antibiotics so I had them checked by a traditional doctor. The doctor said they were inflamed and thought it looked like I had an allergy.

I told her I had been tested for allergies – everything came up negative. She recommended I take allergy medication and set up an appointment with an audiologist to have my hearing checked in two weeks.

The allergy medication she recommended knocked me out. I could barely function after taking one pill; it just added to my feeling disoriented and depressed. Confusion drove me crazy; my mind was spinning every moment. I kept trying to figure out what to do next.

Which doctor was I supposed to listen to?

This was a great opportunity for me to “take the best and leave the rest.”

This is a picture of me from long ago. I’m so glad I've had the courage to dive into things!

This is a picture of me from long ago. I’m so glad I’ve had the courage to dive into things!

It turned out that my low point wasn’t destined to last; somehow everything improved this past week. Here were a few of the things that I did:

I started to go swimming again and that alone helped me feel much better.

I gave contact lenses a try for the fourth time and I was able to see again the way I used to. I was elated!

I signed up for an intense diet program.

I planned an amazing trip. In two weeks, I’m going on a trip to Costa Rica for the first time in my life.

I’m so glad I was able to turn my life around when I needed to most. I have so much more to share and plan to soon.


© 2016 by Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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  1. Belinda O says:

    Oh Judy, that all sounds like so much to sort through! I hope “Ben” is gone for good. Have a phenomenal vacation!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. inmycorner says:

    Judy – I am so happy for you. Especially that you can see and swim again. I love it when a plan comes together. I know what you mean about that rat — egad. Nothing worse than the “snap” of a trap – other than the scuffle across the floor. Hope that fella is gone for good – maybe no more hiding chocolate? grin. Fall leaves in New England will be spectacular. I LOVE the fall because of the colours. Wishing you a wonderful and “sightful” trip, my friend. You are doing so well – keep on singing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      No sign of the rat for a few weeks now – yay! I won’t be hiding anymore chocolate because I’ve gone on a very strict diet program. I’ll write about that soon. I was very exciting about seeing the fall colors but things kind of changed – so interesting. The trip was cancelled and then my friend confessed that she had a travel credit with an agency that covered Mexico and Central America. So instead, I’m going to Costa Rica! That should be very cool for me and maybe I can catch some beautiful butterflies with my camera. My cough is getting better and I am on an upswing. So much of how we feel is related to our attitude. Thank you so much for commenting, Stacey – so nice to hear from you. Glad you were able to go to that wedding and I hope your cold is better!

      Liked by 1 person

      • inmycorner says:

        Costa Rica?? Wonderful. I have a cousin who decided to live there – and he loves it. glad you are feeling better on all fronts: mind and body. Don’t diet too hard – you look so beautiful already you needn’t worry at all in my opinion. I hate to deprive myself of good food and the gustatory pleasures of life – never been good at dieting. I am just resting and getting caught up on communications. Felt it was about time I did some wordpress reading and responding. Going to have a little snooze soon. Enjoy your day – hope you get in another swim!

        Liked by 1 person

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