The Lilt of Ladies’ Laughter

Sue is a gifted hostess. Her luncheon or dinner tables are set to say welcome – let’s enjoy our moments together.

This holiday season, in the midst of the added burden of my treatments, Sue once again turned her sites outward – this time to entertain the ladies of the neighborhood with a special Christmas luncheon. Handmade invitations accented with buttons were sent to the eighteen households and the prompt R.S.V.P.s foretold a memory in the making.

In the days leading up to to the luncheon Sue kept busy in the kitchen trying recipes, refining the table settings, and planning each detail of the final menu. But a successful luncheon is marked by more than the table and the tastes . . . there are other ingredients of hospitality including the flow of the conversation and the deliberate inclusion of each guest. The holiday alone affords a festive tone and Sue adds to expectations for the holiday soiree by requesting each lady bring a favorite Christmas ornament and prepare to share the story of its special meaning. The details are complete and Sue becomes a lady in waiting.

Murphy, our cairn terrier, sits with me in the upstairs sitting room – out of sight but not out of earshot. My task for the day is to keep the social Murph apart from the guests so that the focus of the day will be on them. For the moment, I’m mostly thinking leftovers and Murphy leans forward in his stance figuring with this many people some food is bound to drop to the floor and a rare treat in store.

It’s 11:50 and the first guest rings the front doorbell. Soon, close neighbors will knock at the side door. One by one the ladies arrive donned in their Christmas colors. They have stepped it up a notch in their wardrobe this morning – they’ve dressed with anticipation. There’s even a bit more jewelry but not over the top.

I had hoped to keep the upstairs door open to listen in on Sue’s mastery of hosting but Murphy needs to be kept at bay so I am privy to only the tones and tenor of the conversations. At each opening of the front door there is a patterned pulse with each greeting – a higher pitched welcome and response followed by repeated comments regarding Sue’s thoughtfulness in hosting.

The doorbell rings again and raised pitches welcome another guest. There are polite introductions of the newest neighbor while long tenured residents catch up on kids and grandkids. There’s a sudden shift with the next introduction as two ladies who have lived side by side for four years meet each other for the first time. Laughter and hugs follow.

Murphy can’t stand it. His nose is at the seam in the door jamb as the perfume wafting up the staircase signals something big is happening. From the kitchen just below my room I can hear the niceties of gathered women – a compliment here, an “I wish I could do that” there – a wall hanging is admired to keep the conversation moving. A third of the women want to co-host out of habit, half are asking if they can move things to the table, and the remainder enjoy being pampered.

As the gathering shifts to the next room the words become less distinct to my ears but there is a cadence to a ladies’ luncheon that affords familiarity. A momentary lull in the conversation indicates its time to move from the kitchen to the formal dining room and the women anxiously yet politely search for the seating arrangements. Sue’s handiwork again pays off as her handcrafted name tags are noticed. “Darling” is a word that when spoken by females can easily pass through two sheets of drywall. It’s clear on the second floor they love her Christmas stocking name tags with names already written indicating each one’s place at the table.

An unexpected guest arrives – one who did not RSVP – and Sue masterfully takes it in stride by giving up her seat, clearing a corner spot for herself, pulling up a stool and quickly filling in the lone blank name tag left.

With introductions once again acknowledged for the newcomers there follows limited chatter to help each other identify the players. “It’s the house with the circle drive” or “They have the big elm tree out front” or “Her child is the one that sells the Girl Scout Cookies”.

Just ahead of the luncheon, Sue quiets all hearts with a brief devotional and scripture reading about taking time from our busy lives to enjoy the gifts around us. Her prayer for the meal includes a blessing for each home. And now it’s show time.

I’m several rooms away now – with the door closed. Murph has lost interest and assumes his afternoon nap position. I’m on the computer but can follow the muffled conversations not as to content but as to intent. There is a lilt to ladies’ laughter – it’s the tide of conversation in relaxed company. Someone makes a comment, not to their dining neighbor but to the whole table. Everyone politely listens and the quiet moment of address is followed by the universal lift in voices as they affirm a shared truth or laugh in unison at a humorous response. Pause, quiet statement, uniform response and a trailing comment. It’s the lilt of ladies’ laughter.

Toward the close of the meal Sue invites each one to share the story of their favorite Christmas ornament. They’re all over the board from a small photograph of a grandchild to a black rubber gorilla with a party hat – each one tells a story of moment of life they carry with joy.

The ebb and flow continues as they work around the table and in the process become more familiar, more knowledgeable, more comfortable with each other. Sue has done a wonderful work in bringing people together.

Then quietly, the dining denouement ensues as one by one yet without a timed pattern each one leaves for other responsibilities. A couple of women linger to help in the kitchen – one is a long time friend and the other a new friend who is relishing new companionship. Together the three savor the moment as the pleasant perfume of warm hospitality.

Christmas 2011 will be remembered in our neighborhood for Sue’s gracious hospitality and for the welcome lilt of ladies’ laughter.


Alex and The Organ Donor Card

Here’s my handsome son, Alex, who joined my son-in-law and me on a hiking trip to the Great Smokey Mountains this past summer. Read to the end of this post for a story about Alex and the Organ Donor Card.

Liver Transplants

Probably one of the most consistent questions I get asked after “How ya doin'” is “Why don’t you just get a liver transplant?”

On its own, isn’t it amazing people think of organ transplants as an everyday fact of life. Medical science has made amazing advancements in recent decades. Can you recall the first heart transplant in 1967 by South African Dr. Christiaan Barnard? As a thirteen year old I was amazed at both the science and by people’s reaction to transplanting what was considered the most sacred human organ. Today, organ transplants retain their breathtaking mystery but are readily seen as another medical solution.

Liver transplants are complicated procedures involving operations taking up to 12 hours. The critical organ which is the size of a half of a football presents a unique difference from other organs as the liver is the only major organ that can regenerate itself. This presents the patient the option of receiving either a transplanted organ from a brain-dead person or receiving a partial liver transplant from a living donor. While the latter presents many risks to be weighed by both the donor and the donee, for each person the partial liver will re-grow to its original size.

There are currently 16,000 people on the waiting list for a donated liver. In 2008, 6318 liver transplants were performed. As there are not enough donated livers to go around a national scoring system was created which takes in to consideration a patient’s condition, blood type, age, support system, and his or her likelihood of surviving the next 90 days without a transplant. Obviously, with a three-month window of life as a criteria, a person has to be in bad shape to hope to get moved up the list. One out of ten people die on the waiting list. People with advancing liver issues but still fully functional like me are a long way from getting on a liver transplant list, however, we continue to monitor issue with an increased interest in organ donor programs.

I recall reading an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about six years ago which detailed the numbers game of liver donation in the St. Louis area. The story detailed the logistics of getting a candidate liver to an actual recipient in a St. Louis hospital. The screens started filtering by the odds of first finding a person who is brain-dead but living after, most likely, an auto accident. The next screen is if this person had previously designated to be an organ donor. Then the funnel of potential livers significantly reduces with being able to get that person’s body to a donation hospital soon enough to be still alive yet brain-dead in order to remain a viable donor. (A person awaiting a liver transplant has already agreed to reside within a limited number of hours of the transplantation hospital.) Then the proper match has to be determined: blood types, scoring system, probability of surviving the operation, etc. The funnel reduces again. And finally, in what was the most startling bit of information about available livers, the family of the brain-dead person has the right to override the dying person’s organ donor wishes. It’s at this point the funnel greatly reduces as families, likely distraught from the recent accident, cannot process through the grief to allow their loved one to serve as donor. It was a disheartening look at the numbers of organ donations. I would encourage everyone to sign an organ donor card, display the designation proudly on your driver’s license and most importantly, tell your family members of your desire to serve through the final gift of your body so that others may receive the gift of sight or extended lives.

Now for a quick story about Alex and the Organ Donor Card.

For many years, until I was diagnosed with the virus, I readily signed an organ donor card when I registered for my driver’s license. I would encourage you to consider serving others by doing the same.

After Alex turned 16 the day finally arrived when he could sign up for a driver’s license at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. (No, he didn’t dress in a tux to go to the BMV but here he is on prom night 2004)

As we waited in line for our turn to attempt to get a smile from one of the clerks, I noticed a poster promoting organ donation. After scanning the limited words of the message and being comfortable with the way it presented the idea I leaned over to Alex, gestured to the poster and quietly said “Alex, you ought to seriously consider being an organ donor. Give it some thought. You’ll have opportunity to sign-up in a few minutes.”

Hiking on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland

Alex is a very thoughtful person – he thinks through each issue with serious care. He didn’t say much but read the poster as I watched his eyes search his brain to process the proposal. We continued our wait.

At our turn to meet the clerk I smiled warmly and took a seat. After receiving the forms to complete I told her we would also like a form for becoming an organ donor as it was under consideration.

We stepped away from her desk and moved to a work table with the paperwork. Alex remained quiet as I worked through the forms and he studied the organ donor poster. When I completed my work, I turned to him and said in a low tone (he doesn’t like any attention drawn to him in public), “So, Alex, are you ready to sign the organ donor card. I think it’s a noble idea.”

Walking the boardwalk near Lincoln

I was a bit frustrated by his pause. The matter hits home with me and I know what this could mean to the many persons who are in the situation I may someday find myself. Oh, the ultimate selflessness of the gesture. What’s the matter here?

Alex continued to process the issue. My first thought was to take offense at what I perceived to be selfishness. How could one, upon being declared brain-dead, not want to give this final measure of devotion to his fellow man?

It was time to return to the clerk. “So, Alex, what do you think?” After another moment he replied, “Sure, I’ll sign it.”

But now here’s the real story.

I thanked him and took the form and then said, “If you don’t mind me asking . . . I couldn’t help but notice that you took some time to decide. What was the toughest part of making that decision?” He said, “I just had to work through the scenario of getting the call one day.”

I was speechless. He believed he had just signed up for a lottery and that one day the phone would ring and the State Police voice would say, “Mr. Tidball, you’re number came up and we need your heart today.”

I was humbled by his ultimate selflessness which far surpassed my brain-dead nobleness to give away what I no longer possessed. His young mind had weighed giving his life for another.

I gave him a hug and held back the tears. Who’s getting a lesson today?

I quickly explained the way the program works and discussed the brain-dead situation that would have to first occur. He relaxed but the grandeur of his willingness to sacrifice had already been displayed. Remember Alex the next time you have opportunity to become an organ donor. Forms and smiles are available today at a BMV near you.

Cross Country Days

“Like a bad sock on a bony leg.”

I use an electronic sleeping aid.  Each night for the last five or so years I’ve fallen asleep with an earphone plugged into my iPod listening to Old Time Radio shows. All the great names of the 1940s and ’50s are available as podcasts at the iTunes store. You can find: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Barry Craig-Confidential Investigator, Pete Kelley’s Blues, Let George Do It, Night Beat with Randy Stone, Jeff Regan Investigator and my two favorites – Dragnet and Pat Novak for Hire.

There are other notable theater re-creations with Lux Radio Theatre and Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre on the Air plus you’ll find great comedy on The Jack Benny Show and the Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show.  Whether it’s adventure, drama, mystery or comedy these shows were well written and delivered. I wish they and their story lines were around today. The basic good vs. evil is always entertaining. In the early 70’s the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre produced by Hyman Brown, a veteran of OTR, made a noble attempt to revive the genre.

A problem using this as a sleeping aid is that I usually nod off at 20 minutes just ahead of the climax. I’ll often have to backtrack the next night or during a 3AM restlessness to find the show’s resolution. Seems I live my sleeping hours just shy of the denouement.

There are predictable patterns throughout the shows. The crime of theft is a common theme and occasionally insurance fraud works its way in. There are gangsters and bad guys and the women who love them. Usually the lead bad guy has a less intelligent side-kick and a woman friend who has always made bad choices in her life. Murder is often involved and if a handgun is in the scene the sequence is usually three shots and the sound of a body hitting the floor usually followed by either a death-bed confession or a mumble of unintelligible words that prolong the mystery.

Dragnet is a favorite as it retells true stories of crime in Los Angeles with the deadpan delivery of the one and only Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday. Together, with his partner Frank Smith or Ben Ramero, they worked from crime to punishment in stories involving missing persons, robbery, and kidnapping.

For those of you not familiar with Jack Webb, this classic Tonight Show spoof of Dragnet with Johnny Carson may bring Webb and his deadpan delivery to mind.

Jack Webb working a script

Another Jack Webb show was Pat Novak for Hire. It was the usual crime story set in San Francisco but the writing was so unusual.  In fact, the introduction of each show opens with the words “The American Broadcasting Company now brings you one of radio’s most unusual programs”. Raymond Burr co-stars as Novak’s constant thorn in the side in Burr’s role as Inspector Hellmann. Hellmann blames every murder in San Francisco on Novak who finds himself sucked into wayward waterfront deals usually involving international shipping.

Again, it’s the writing that’s so different from the other shows.  The line used in the title of this post, as example, is the way he describes his fall to the floor after being sucker punched by a hoodlum: “I fell to the floor like a bad sock on a bony leg.”

There’s a constant cadence of the scripts . . . on average every fourth line carries a simile or the clever turn of a phrase. The writing style carried over to other crime dramas starring Webb. Jeff Regan Investigator had a similar style where as the show Joe Modero was nearly a clone of Pat Novak For Hire with little more than a change of names for the characters. But in Pat Novak for Hire, the writing style was at its best.

Here are a few other lines from the mid-50s radio show Pat Novak for Hire:

She was at least 50, because you can’t get that ugly without years of experience.

 She stood leaning there for a minute, sort of a girl who moves when she stands still. She had blonde hair. She was kind of pretty, except you could see somebody had used her badly, like a dictionary in a stupid family.

Is he dead? Yeah, he couldn’t stand the bleeding.

Hellmann, you ought to rent an idiot. The heavy thinking’s too much for you.

She walked with a nice friendly movement, like the trap door on a gallows.

He slipped out of my arms and stopped paying taxes.

I’ve helped you get up so much I feel like one of the Wright brothers.

I knew I had no more business here than second trumpet in a string quartet.

She was the kind of girl you’d like to meet in the choir loft after rehearsal was over. Her hair was red, and her eyes were about as cold as rigor mortis. And you knew the first time you met her, you’d been seeing her too often.

She had nice hair, and the dress helped too. It was dark blue and had v-neck, but the designer believe in big letters.

With an iTunes account you can download tons of Old Time Radio for free.  Check out the genre for an entertaining evening of theater of the mind. You can follow this link to find a site with files you can listen to outside of iTunes. You might start with the Rory Malone episode.

I hope you enjoy the shows and don’t forget to look for Jack Benny and his timeless humor.

As E.G. Marshall always closed the CBS Mystery Theater . . . “Pleasant dreams?….


“Bonnie! I’m not producing!”

December 21 – Wednesday

The primary costs in the fight against HCV are the cost of treatment and the cost of lost productivity due to the debilitating side effects of the treatment. The Hepatitis C virus which affects nearly four million Americans is often referred to as the Baby Boomer’s disease. Researchers note the increase in discovered infections correlates with the age bubble of those born between 1946 and 1964.

It is estimated that 78% of those infected are not aware they have the virus. The few symptoms and the often slow-progressing related diseases caused by HCV can go undetected for years. While the number of new infections is declining due to blood screening developed in 1989, the Baby Boomer generation is reporting increased discovery of the virus.

Those being treated are usually in their highest economic productive years and thus the costs of lost productivity is added to the increasing costs of treatment. With 78% undiagnosed it is likely the huge cost of future treatments will eventually fall on the Medicare program due to the aging Baby Boomers. The estimated hundreds of billions of additional annual costs for treatment will further challenge the government program.

While these are the two primary costs I would suggest there’s a third productivity cost but this one doesn’t carry a dollar sign. It’s no secret the side effects of the interferon based treatments are very limiting and the subsequent loss of personal productivity over the extended treatment period also has an effect on the patient. Here’s a story on personal productivity.

It’s the start of Week Four with 42 to go.

The day started with momentum. One reason may be it’s the furthest day from the last interferon shot. After a good night’s sleep I was up at 7:30 for a bowl of Cream of Wheat – always a good sign.

One might expect after three weeks of treatment some predictable performance patterns would emerge. Isn’t it logical to expect if l rise at this hour I will feel a certain way until this time when such and such takes over. The pills and shots are regulated by times so why not the side effects? But this Wednesday again displayed the unpredictable nature of the medicine. There was a bit more energy than usual. So my first thought . . . I must get to the office!

I dressed casual and headed for town. Leigh, my business partner, was surprised to see me and glad for the company in the normally two person office. She’s been doing marvelous work coordinating contacts between clients and Home Office personnel who are dealing with issues in my absence. We got caught up on the news and I tended to a few papers and called a favorite client in Massachusetts.  I was getting stuff done.

As I spoke with the client, however, I noticed less strength in my voice. As we closed our conversation, the client also noticing a change, wished me well for the months ahead. I can tell I’m only going to be good for one call today. I finished up some online administrative matters while I gradually slumped towards the desk which was looking more and more like a recliner. Now I’m wondering if I can drive myself home. Leigh shooed me out and at the door I looked back wondering when I will return to that chair again. I didn’t accomplish anything significant today other than to accomplish something.

This treatment pace is an adjustment. I’ve never been good at relaxing – at taking it easy.  It’s not that I’m a work-a-holic and have to be at the office but I value my free time for other pursuits. I’ve always felt a desire to be creating, or processing, or assembling or developing. Even on vacation I want to be seeing, exploring, traversing or learning. I’ve never been drawn to a beach vacation . . . let’s see, you got the sand, the waves and the birds – what time is it now? Why this need to be doing? Maybe there’s a clue to be found in taking a look back.

Curt, Craig, Mom and Jana

When I was a kid, I looked forward with great anticipation to summer camping trips. Our family would join two other large families and all together we’d head to down to Kentucky Lake State Park or to Shakamak State Park in southern Indiana. Mom would coordinate the equipment logistics like NASA preparing for a space launch. There was the gear, the food, the clothing – enough for five or six days of tent camping with six, count ’em, six children. I would question if the same feat could even be accomplished today without the modern aids of prepackaged foods and specialized equipment. She worked miracles of creativity on a shoestring budget.

The older children packed their own suitcases which were a matched set of painted sturdy beer boxes which had been carefully procured and secreted into the house

Brentlingers, Tidballs, and Strahls camping

so as not to endorse the product or its consumption. These uniform crates would easily pack into the Apache pop-up camper designed to sleep four comfortably out of a family of eight.

On the afternoon of departure day we kids played with nervous anticipation for the moment Dad would rush home from work at the college, hitch up the trailer to the eight passenger little Ford Fairlane wagon and dash out of town. In one fluid motion we were loaded and moving down the highway.

I can remember a time when Dad set up the Apache pop-up still wearing his tie from work that day. It usually took three days for him to get out of college mode and into camping. He enjoyed evening visits with the other adults but it wasn’t until day three he was ready to take a hike or play some rough house games with the kids. He just couldn’t unwind from the office. And while he wasn’t in a commissioned position where his productivity was needed to produce income he simply had to be doing something for the greater good. His focus was always on our well-being but that of course was directly tied to the work. His demeanor was summed up one camping trip when on the afternoon of Day 2, he turned to Mom and said with animated frustration, “BONNIE!, I’m not producing!” It’s been the inside joke of our family for years.

One of the best trips for him had to be the one where just he and I left the group and went for a rowboat ride on Shakamak Lake. While teaching me some rowing techniques (no doubt learned during his Canadian Navy days) we came across a sunken rowboat floating a foot under water. After towing it ashore and making sure no one had reported it lost or stolen we hauled the damaged but repairable boat home on top of the Apache. He was money ahead for the trip. It was like golfing and ending the day with more found golf balls than when you started. Regardless of the cost of the round or your score you just felt ahead for the day. It was probably the best camping trip he ever had as it produced a net gain.

Dad has learned to relax better with subsequent trips (he’s at his best on family cruises) but the need for accomplishment is a habit that dies slowly. He’s always pursuing a witness for our Lord, promoting the college or comparing his family with any other grandfather who will stop for a conversation on the Lido Deck.

I recall when the two of us traveled to England on one of our genealogy trips. We landed at Heathrow got our bags and took the train downtown. At the station he made a bee line for the taxi stand. “Dad,” I called to him, “I just want you to know that since you’re retired now we’re going to take this at your pace . . . but please slow it down a step, will ya?”  Together, we accomplished a lot that trip.

These stories reflect the attribute of producing simply in return for the wondrous gift of life. I must share that same tendency and thus during this time of treatment see one of the unlisted side effects of the medicine to be the loss of ability to “produce” those things that are personally enriching.

It’s easy to tickle the keyboard while reclining and sense a bit of accomplishment in writing these stories but frustrating to have other usual functions just out of reach. I hope that eventually patterns will settle in where I can pace myself to pursue other interests in photography, computing, and writing.  I’m not complaining – just reporting in.  I’m grateful for the promise of wholeness to come.

But . . . “Sue!, I’m not producing!”

An Armchair Travel Excursion – Visit Devonshire Media

Anyone wanting a brief travel experience without leaving home may enjoy a visit to the Devonshire Media’s Photo Gallery at  Select the link below to be taken to the travel website for Craig W. Tidball Photography and view photographs from recent travels to Scotland and the National Mall at Washington D.C.

Devonshire Media


Pay it Forward

We tend to surround ourselves with good people. It’s only natural – we enjoy each others company. Among this number we count our closest friends.

It’s one thing to be friendly and pleasant and share comfortable companionship for years but when was the last time we verbalized the meaningfulness of the relationship? When was the last time we locked on to anothers eyes and spoke those qualities about them we most appreciate?  Maybe, being good friends . . .  it’s not necessary. Maybe the friendship bond is constantly and silently conveying the message for us. Could it be such a verbal gesture might tamper with a delicate balance . . . even change the relationship? Maybe it’s not worth the risk. Maybe.  But then, just maybe, there are times when a deliberate affirmation is worth the risk.

I received another non-medical dose for the cure this past week when a long time client called to take care of some year-end business. He had heard I was starting another round of treatments and expressed his sadness at the looming ordeal and spoke encouragement for the months ahead.

And then he gave me a compliment and I quickly thanked him for his kindness. And then he did it again . .  and again on another attribute. He listed those things he had observed in me over the years and had admired. And he hung on each statement with deliberate intention. I couldn’t blush my way out of it after the second time – he was piling on. I felt like the special guest of a This is Your Life show. I was instantly walking taller albeit in my new slightly slumped fashion.

Now, this is by no means a solicitation for a comment . . . that train has left the station, the cat’s out of the bag . . . I know who you are.  Rather, this is about your consideration to Pay it Forward to those in your circle. You and I are now on the alert for that situation where an affirmation of the next person we meet might just be better timed than we can imagine.

When the time is right, when the need is there, when your heart says go – be the medicine. Share a good word…. Charlie did for me.

The River Birch Resolution


Friday – December 16

As I gaze out my sitting room window I see the winter expression of Sue’s green thumb. The freeform flower beds display the dormant phase of coming spring glory. Even in this brown, quiet time they raise anticipation for the promise of coming attractions.

In the center of the flower beds stands a mighty River Birch (betula nigra) also referred to as the Water Birch or Dark Birch. This particular tree was on the original landscaping invoice when we built our home nearly 25 years ago. We had come to enjoy the birch trees at Sue’s parent’s home and wanted to include them in our plans as a way to remember them.

The River Birch has characteristics different from the popular White Birch (betula papyrifera) which you will also find among her gardens. The most notable difference, at least for the person doing the yard work, is the way the River Birch is self pruning. It freely sheds its worn out, tired, dying branches (usually just twigs) to make room for new growth.

As we enter the perennial year-end zone of self-reflection there may be a lesson in this ruggedly elegant tree.

The River Birch is deliberate about becoming. It is self pruning. It doesn’t hold on to its branches without some consideration for the greater good. It continues to grow through the pruning process.

Could it be a worthy approach to our annual ritual of introspection to not pile on with the new things we will add to our lives – exercise, budget controls, a new diet, or a new meditation plan. But rather, like the River Birch, if we intend to grow, that we first let go of those dying, worn out things that are comfortably familiar but that retard personal growth. Instead of adding on the new, consider self pruning through a continual process of determining what growth-retarding offshoots, what unproductive branches of my past should be dropped by the way? And just like the River Birch, the strong branches will flourish and new growth will begin. What branches need to go? What strengths need to flourish?

My view today is of a barren tree in its winter introspection but I know a vibrant spring renewal is coming. I know as well that the River Birch stands proudly as one of the tallest and strongest of the birch family. Here’s to new growth the coming year.

Meet Dr. Bacon

I’ve just posted an update to the blog page “The Medical Team”.  If interested, take a moment to read this insightful interview with my lead physician, Dr. Bruce Bacon of St. Louis University Hospital.  Click this link to go to the page: Meet the Medical Team