Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY or Happy birthday Serena!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:27-04:00 June 15th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, Equality, friendship, gratitude, homosexuality, lgbtq, Life, mental health, mind/body, plastic surgery, sharing, stress, stress relief, transgender|

I shouldn’t be crying when I read my morning paper, but the last few days it’s been hard not to well up with tears in the aftermath of such ugliness and devastation from the tragic events that occurred in Orlando. The outpouring of love from around the world has certainly been remarkable and beautiful to witness. My heart hurts as we learn the names of those who were killed and about their lives, lost too soon.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Many are still physically injured and some clinging to life in the hospital, the emotional injuries are enough to last a hundred lifetimes. We can only hope for some sort of healing for the community and the world, and the courage to live on.

I see some of that courage in a beautiful young lady named Serena, who has struggled, not only internally, but also externally with the ignorance and narrow-mindedness of people she comes in contact with as she moves through her life.



This is the text Serena received from someone she actually lived with and shared space with. It makes me sick to think that she had to walk on the same floor, sleep under the same roof, heck use the same door as someone so ignorant and hurtful. But in perfect Serena style, she let her have it on social media, as people like this shouldn’t be allowed to spew hate and not get called out on it! The comments of support for Serena were awesome and the collective that came to her defense even greater. Serena and I haven’t actually met irl (ha, I think I’m so cool for using text speak (it means “in real life”)), but I know her folks, her dad for a really long time, and I get the sense that she’s always been courageous, always a WARRIOR. Serena documented her transition for everyone to see in a blog that she maintained at Serena happens to be a great writer, and her willingness to share her ups and downs while claiming her true self, going through surgeries, suffering discrimination and more, is what makes Serena a WARRIOR.



“In the wake of such horrific violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, I realize how proud I am to be unapologetically myself and part of a community that is all about solidarity, love, and acceptance. #TransIsBeautiful#GirlsLikeUs #LoveWins #Equality ❤️????????” Serena

Thank you for sharing your story Serena, and I’m honored and humbled to be able to watch it unfold!

Stay well.

The has tons of resources for anyone questioning, knowing, or curious!

Parenting, one stitch at a time.

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:56-04:00 October 2nd, 2015|childhood, friendship, injury, Life, parenthood, parenting, plastic surgery, surgeon|

The text from my son read “I’m coming home. Need some medical attention. I don’t want stitches.” Sure, that’s the moment when I could choose to panic, to get angry, to freak out, but thankfully that’s not the route I go. I’m good in chaos. Like when a dear friend was having some scary heart related stuff and her husband said “I want Julie here, she can help and get s*#t done.” I’m good at gettin’ s*#t done. So I text back and ask where the injury is and tell my son to get home so I can have a look. “There’s a hole in my lip,” was the response, and I knew the first phone call I needed to make was to a plastic surgeon. Thankfully my pediatrician and my google search came up with the same option which made my decision easier. I mean, to have my kids doctor refer us is one thing, but Google too?! I knew I was in good hands. Ok seriously, we did end up in the extremely kind, patient, and well-skilled hands of Dr. Monasabien and his staff. Bloodied, and with what turned out to be more than one hole in his lip, we showed up at the office, which they kept open after hours so my son could be seen. The doctor popped right out and was immediately calming and welcoming. He asked all the right questions, and not to me, but to my son, which I thought was great and empowering for my kid. Sure Dr. Monasabien was mindful of me and my concerns, but his respect for his now patient, was well-received, and garnered him the immediate trust of my son. The doctor explained what would happen so there were no surprises and took us in to the procedure room. Two nurses, who also stayed late to help us, went into action assisting the doctor, while also checking on me. My boy was such a trooper, partially because he might have been in a bit of shock, but also because everyone in the office was so completely chill.

In stitches...lots of em.

In stitches…lots of em.

It turned out to be worse than any of us had initially thought and he needed a boat load of stitches, but thank goodness it was easily sutured. He will heal and have a sexy scar to boot!

Now there’s the matter of how this happened, and it turns out it was a total accident. Basically, my sons very good friend was horsing around and clocked him. The friend walked him home and could barely make eye contact with me as he clearly felt terrible about the whole thing. There was nothing to do but relieve this boy of his guilt, knowing that he’d learned a lesson about horsing around and hurting someone he cares about, and also knowing his parents would handle it on their end.

The message I leave you with is this, boys will be boys, and always call a plastic surgeon if it involves the face!

Stay well.

I was grateful I had my Totems with me to help keep me calm and grounded. Do you have a Totem with you at all times? If not, you should! Click the link to visit our store and buy one today!