Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Bay Area’

August 7, 2018

Dear Readers,

I (Teresa Jade LeYung) write to you not as a novelist, theme consultant or found-object artist but as a memoirist, daughter of Mr. Leung, and a witness to joy and despair and a whole lot of kindness.

Papa was doing fine, as fine as a 84-year-old fellow with Parkinson’s Disease (and Diabetes and hypertension) could do. Just four months ago, he was using his walker several times a day … to go from his apartment to the balcony on his floor and to the courtyard in the senior building he lived in.  To show off in the hallway, whenever a caregiver was nearby (and I have photos to prove this), he would abandon the walker and use the handrail to traverse the seventeen feet to the door of his apartment.

On July 19, around 5:00pm while I was away on a writing retreat with two dear friends/colleagues, my sister (who was here for the summer) called me to say that paramedics were taking our father to an E.R.

A few days prior to this one, his caregivers had been reporting (in Cantonese) that our papa  was “looking sad”.  That morning of July 19, caregiver Mrs. G. had reported to my sister that Papa was feeling dizzy.  When my sister called me, my advice to her was to ask questions: “Had Papa eaten breakfast?  Had he been drinking water everyday? What was he doing before feeling dizzy?” He would be seeing his primary care physician that afternoon at 4:00pm … Well, our papa was in no condition to go to the appointment.  His primary care physician instructed my sister to call 9-1-1.

In E.R. and the hospital, our papa was being treated for pneumonia and urinary tract infection.

Pneumonia. When two friends heard the word “pneumonia” they gently prepared me for the worst case scenario. Well, Papa has beat the odds before.

He had aspiration pneumonia (probably caused by food or water going down the windpipe which led to bacteria infection).

And, he was fighting a urinary tract infection.

July 22 (the day that my sister flies home), Papa is transferred to a skilled nursing facility.  He had bounced back before, twice last year – dehydration and falls.  This time is different.

My papa is not Mr. John Pepper (the hero in Chapter 2 “The Man Who Walks Off His Parkinsonian Symptoms” in the book The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D.).  Papa is his own hero, winning smile, flaws and all.

Papa Makes Decision “Where Do I Go Now?”  After Hospitalization.  While In Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation.

August 7, I asked the Director of Social Services at the skilled nursing facility where Papa was at…

“Could we please have a meeting, with a Cantonese-speaking interpreter, so that my father can hear in his native language…what his choices are when he is discharged? I want him to make his own decision. He’s been asking me to help him go home. He needs to understand what is happening.”

Miracles involving my father also involves the ticking of a clock.

The meeting would take place that afternoon. I asked dear friend Sasa to go with me (I needed someone to witness my role).  The meeting would take place after Papa has his lunch and before my friend would need to leave at 2pm.

Staff members at this institution are pulled in various directions during a work day. The Director of Social Services was most accommodating.  Sasa and I arrived at 12:30, patients were waiting for lunch which was served later than usual today.  1:00pm  Papa’s puree and “controlled carbs” meal arrived (looks delicious, really).

At 1:40pm all the characters for the scene were in place – Papa; director of social services; interpreter who is also activities director; my friend Sasa; Papa’s caregiver Mrs. G who was visiting; and me.

What are the 3 options when skilled nursing facility discharges Papa?

  • Go home? He was receiving 5 hours/day of care through IHSS. He now needs 24-hour care.  Who will pay for the 19 hours each day? His monthly income from Social Security is approximately $1,000; $300 of that goes to paying rent of a studio apartment in a senior housing; the balance pays for food, hygiene products, telephone, TV, SF Paratransit. My sister and I can contribute up to $700/month. Care-giving costs $35-$40/hour; most agencies want a 4-hour minimum each day; our $700/month would buy approximately 18 hours.
  • **
  • Accept a Medi-Cal bed in a nursing home for long-term care. (If Papa were to private pay, the cost of nursing home care would be more than $300/day.)  Because he has Medi-Cal (thank God), he would authorize Social Security to transfer his monthly income to the nursing home. Medi-Cal is a combined federal and California State program designed to help pay for medical care for public assistance recipients and other low-income persons. There are 3 of these beds (vacancies) in the facility right now, on the nursing home floors.
  • **
I watched my papa’s face evaluating the 3 options.  I heard him answer in Cantonese “I want long-term care here.”
My blog post 2 of 3 shall be about what happened that afternoon, what life looks like on the nursing home floor, what to do before the 90-day evaluation.


The Michael J. Fox Foundation  In addition to the classic motor symptoms of Parkinson’s (tremor, slowness, stiffness, walking and/or balance problems), a person may develop changes in speech and/or swallowing.  Speech and swallowing therapy exercises, combined with Parkinson’s medication adjustment and, if necessary, dietary and/or behavioral modifications are the mainstays of management.

… to improve swallowing and lessen the risk of aspirating. These could include dietary modifications — such as thickening liquids — and/or behavioral strategies, such as avoiding drinking through straws, tucking the chin to the chest when swallowing or taking smaller bites at slower intervals.

To hear a webinar presented by Michael J. Fox Foundation on urinary problems and Parkinson’sclick here or look up any webinar by visiting at


Since 1983, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), a statewide nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy organization, has been dedicated to improving the choices, care and quality of life for California’s long term care consumers. Through direct advocacy, community education, legislation and litigation it has been CANHR’s goal to educate and support long term care consumers and advocates regarding the rights and remedies under the law, and to create a united voice for long term care reform and humane alternatives to institutionalization.



Teresa Jade LeYung

Coach Teresa, Does the Hero/Protagonist Always Want to Go Home?

In a classic tale, yes, the Hero wants to go home. Home represents familiarity, perhaps where loved ones are, perhaps safety. Warriors want to go  home; sailors want to go home; children want to go home.

But, what if Home doesn’t provide any of those comforts?

What about homeless people?  Where/What is home for these folks?

As a writing coach/manuscript consultant, I ask my clients this question: What does your Protagonist want?  You have to show me within the first five pages (if you’re writing a book) what he/she wants.  If you can show the initial “want” on page 1, that’s even better.

In The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which characters want to go home? Who wants to go home, real bad.

August 8, 2011

Tonight, I was among thousands of protagonists in the San Francisco Bay Area who wanted to go home.  We were having a terrible time getting what we wanted, not because of a natural disaster or an accident.

I had gone into San Francisco to attend a wake. Oh I had the evening all plotted out. 1. Get to the mortuary by 5:00pm; sit in the back of the room and honor my friend’s father; give my friend a token of my prayers; have quiet time with my biggest angel-my mom.  2. Have dinner with my ex-sister-in-law.  3. Be on BART by 8:00pm, home by 9:00.

8:00pm came.  I was sad for my friend and her siblings; I was sad for my ex-sister-in-law. I wanted to go home.

On the BART platform, the digital signs weren’t showing the schedules.  A male voice from the P/A system announced: “Due to a problem with the central computer system, all trains are on hold at stations. We apologize for delays.”

I thought . . .  Oh well, I have a great book (I’m reading The Poisonwood Bible). They’ll fix their computer system, we’ll all be home late, but we’ll get there.  I am so tired, I just want to go home.

Every couple of minutes, the message about their computer system was repeated. Half an hour had passed.

I drank water with my dinner. I’m sure glad I’m not on a train.

Then, a thought crossed my mind–what if they can’t fix the system tonight?  And the people who are sitting/standing inside trains, stuck between stations–what would happen to them?

I talked to two other patrons.  “Maybe they’ll have maps and more information upstairs,” I said.  I left the platform and headed for the escalators to find a station agent. About thirty fellow BART patrons were doing the same thing.

There was no agent on duty.  I want to go home!


Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Coach Teresa’s YouTube Channel:

Coach Teresa is the author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days and Love Made of Heart.


For other posts in my blog, please go to:

If you’re looking for my blog posts pertaining to our Beautiful Brains and Neuroplasticity…  look at right side of screen, you’ll see the category “Beautiful Brains Neuroplasticity”.  Please click on that category to get those posts.




Author & Publisher Leigh Anne Lindsey introduced me to Beth Barany‘s impressive work and in turn Beth introduced me to what she calls two cool women’s groups in the East Bay, California–The Goddess Collective and the Ripe Paradigm.

Marta Maria Marraccin, founder of Goddess Collective, says:
“The Birthing of The Goddess Collective was inspired from pure joy. As a business woman, I have been in a successful private practice known as Quantum Belief for almost 12 years now. In my practice, I help women overcome limiting beliefs, concepts, ideas of self, and much more.”

Last month, the Goddess Collective had a gathering at the Montclair Women’s Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain Boulevard Oakland, CA 94611

Ripe Paradigm is a Women’s Online Community:

“Our network is a collection of women: mothers, teachers, artists, musicians, counselors, healers, dancers, life-lovers and much, much more. Many of us live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We share generously, transparently with all the different parts of ourselves and trust that we will be given the gifts of engaged presence and respect. We hold space for this with our own curious exploration, empathy and openness to all possibilities; being ever inspiring and inspired by one another.”

Thank you, Leigh Anne and Beth, for introducing me to these forums.

What  literary and cultural-wealthy cities we have in Oakland & Berkeley, CA!

Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan celebrates literacy — photo by MKWL


Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Coach Teresa’s YouTube Channel:

Coach Teresa is the author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days and Love Made of Heart.

Coach Teresa, who is Anna L. Marks and how does she take on the world?


Anna L. Marks was the superwoman behind the print newspaper Bay Area BusinessWoman News (it was available at news-stands in financial and commercial districts all over the greater San Francisco Bay Area, CA).  Anna’s publication helped women create national platforms for themselves before the word “platform” was used  in the business world.  Brava, Anna!

I was one of the lucky authors who was interviewed by Lori Hope (Managing Editor for BABW at the time) who had found me through Vicki Weiland and Women’s National Book Association.

Anna sold the paper to Debra Costner and I’ll blog about Debra soon.

What is Anna up to these days?

Anna L. MARKS – Producer at Hungry Mind Recordings

Anna L. Marks is a serial social entrepreneur. She is the creator and founder of Conscious Life Magazine and Bay Area BusinessWoman News where she served as publisher and editor-in-chief for over 15 years. Marks has been on numerous boards, and currently serves on the Alameda County Women’s Commission. She was awarded “Businesswoman of the Year” by San Fransisco Business and Professional Women; and “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the San Francisco chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Marks is passionate about using new media as a change agent for global progress in the new millennium.

On the HMR website, there’s a category entitled “Women Take On the World.”  Anna L. Marks is definitely one of these women!


By the way, here’s the praise from Lori Hope for Love Made of Heart:

“The book’s title (Love Made of Heart) refers to the fact that the Chinese word for ‘heart’ is embedded within the word ‘love.’ The book is about love, liberation and forgiveness. For those seeking inspiration during difficult times, this courageous book is half hot tub, half massage. But only after some painful, albeit unpredictable plot twists.”

Thank you, Lori! I’ll be blogging about you too.


Cheers to Anna and everyone she works with!


Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan who says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days



“The book’s title refers to the fact that the Chinese word for ‘heart’ is embedded within the word ‘love.’ The book is about love, liberation and forgiveness. For those seeking inspiration during difficult times, this courageous book is half hot tub, half massage. But only after some painful, albeit unpredictable plot twists.”
Hello, Writers,
Colleague Bardi Rosman Koodrin writes a helpful column “The Healing Chronicles” for the online paper the San Bruno Patch.
Bardi, a survivor of countless illnesses, has turned her writing talents to helping others who face similar adversities.
The Patch eliminated most of columns, including “The Healing Chronicles”
How can that be?  Bardi even received a Local Heroes award on Sunday April 17, 2011.  Bardi Rosman Koodrin is recognized as the writer/community spirit/model who is living well in spite of pain.
We can do 3 things to bring back Bardi’s column “The Healing Chronicles”
1) contact on this page and ask that “The Healing Chronicles” be reinstated.  The Comment link is in blue on the right, and also down at the end of the page.
2) Read Bardi’s various Healing Chronicle columns so the editors know people are indeed reading them:
3) write comments on these various columns, another way the site can track the usefulness of Bardi’s resources.
Thursday April 21, 2011 at 8:00pm Watch Bardi Rosman Koodrin accept her award at the Local Heroes awards ceremony of April 17th on Channel 30 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Bardi Rosman Koodrin’s column “The Healing Chronicle” helps people live well in spite of pain.  Bardi’s fans are concerned about health and wellness.  Please help Bardi help folks who need inspiration and resources from her columns.
Thank you!
Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan
P.S. Writing contests through the San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Dept. – contest entries must be received by 7:00 pm, Friday, April 29, 2011 or postmarked by April 25th, 2011
These writing contests were orchestrated by Bardi Rosman Koodrin!

Is Thanksgiving Day an American Holiday?

I give thanks to everyone in my life and wish you all tasty and nourishing foods, music, art, laughter, books, literacy, nature, love and peace.

MamaCoAtl & Kim McMillon, thank you for giving me a role in blogging about
activities to raise public awareness that say “END Violence Against Women & Girls!”:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In honor of UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women & Girls, please feel free to tell the world about any events you support by submitting a comment at:


Teresa LeYung Ryan
Author / Writing Career Coach / Manuscript Consultant / Publisher

16 days of ARTivism (Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 San Francisco Bay Area) begin on Nov. 25 United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women & Girls, which is also Thanksgiving Day this year

Teresa LeYung Ryan's registered trademark

GraceArt Publishing is the publisher of Build My Name, Beat the Game: 22 Days to Identify & Develop My Writer’s Platform to Attract Agents, Acquisition Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention. Paypal is available

Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when building your writer’s name/platform.”  

To comment on any of my columns (blog posts), just click on the blue title bar of the post, fill in the boxes and press “submit.”  Please click here for my blog

Love Made of Heart inspires adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas that their parents suffer.

I am happy to announce my Love Made of Heart online store where you’ll find gift items for yourselves, women, children, moms, grandmas, babies, friends and pets.

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