About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prescribing Hope

   I recently re-watched the film Patch Adams starring Robin Williams.  Patch Adams speaks passionately about medicine and health care.  Some of his beliefs include: 
  • doctors should do more than treat a disease.  Doctors should connect with the patient.
  • doctors shouldn’t just be trying to prolong death, but should be attempting to improve a patient’s quality of life.
  • laughter should also be a part of a patient’s treatment.
   I’m thinking of these ideas because they contradict the way most doctors interact with me.  On this medical journey of mine, I have encountered numerous doctors.  Most don’t use my name when speaking to me.  Because I’ve been sent from one “specialist” to another, most are not familiar with my history - the doctors I’ve already seen, the tests I’ve already undergone.
   As my levels of frustration and hopelessness are rapidly increasing, I have turned to  an alternative treatment plan.  In addition to my counter-full of pills, I have begun acupuncture treatments.  Me, the girl who does not watch when blood is drawn, is voluntarily having needles placed in various parts of my body, all in the hopes that something will work, somehow my body will get some relief, and I will feel like myself again.
   It’s too soon to tell if the acupuncture is working.  But my acupuncturist has the right idea.  Before we begin, she talks to me.  Sits down, looks me in the eyes, and talks to me.  Asks me about my health, my eating, my sleeping, my family, my job.  She asks about all the parts of me because they do all influence my physical health and well-being.
   On my second visit, my acupuncturist asked me about my optimism level, with 10 being highest.  She asked if I was at a 10?  a 5?  a 3?  I had never thought of the situation in those terms, but I was honest and told her I was probably a 3.  The longer I suffer in pain, the longer I go without feeling any real relief, the more dejected and forlorn I become.  And I’m sure Patch Adams would say that those feelings aren’t helping my health.
   So, how do I fix it?  How do I do something about my attitude? 
   I don’t know.  I just know I’m not giving up.  I have a son.  A now four-year-old son.  That’s all the motivation I need to keep at it, to keep searching for answers.  And, as an added bonus, my son always knows how to make me laugh.  And it’s been said, laughter is the best medicine.


  1. Honey,
    We are going to get you feeling better! Laughter is a great medicine. I agree that these doctors do seem disconnected from the patient.

    I Love You with all of my heart!

    We are going to get you feeling a 10 again.

    Love, Paul

  2. Wendy,I have to agree with you regarding the way some of your doctors are.I have been with you to some of your appointments and the way the doctors conduct or rather do not conduct themselves with you is so sad.They never seem to smile or really talk to you and explain things so you can truly understand what they are saying.I know you have never liked needles and if your added new treatment works I will be so thankful.From the few times I have seen your acupuncturist she always seems so pleasant and concerned about you and has related to me also.I pray this new treatment along with your medications will soon get you pain free.It kills me to see you having to deal with all the pain and treatments you are going through.Just seeing Ryan's face when you come home and how he runs to greet you will always keep you going.I love you and I am so very proud of you.

  3. I feel frustrated that I can't do more to make you feel better. Even with your health issues, you manage to publish your blog. I enjoy the snap-shot you give me of your life. I think and pray for you more than you know. I love you and Ryan. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad