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Book Review: Glori, A Different Story

I met the author of Glori: A Different Story(Nicole Lynn Hannans) here at Revolution Health a couple of months ago. She is a vibrant, beautiful young woman who had a child in her late teens. Nicole explained to me that the vast majority of America’s teen pregnancy resources are dedicated to prevention. Once a teen becomes pregnant, there is very little support for next steps. For this reason, young mothers have difficulty completing a college education and are often trapped in a lifelong cycle of poverty.

As a young African American woman, Nicole was determined not to become a statistic. Despite all the odds, being homeless and surrounded by her boyfriend’s drug dealing business, she managed to escape that life and attended The College of William and Mary as a single mom. She wrote Glori: A Different Story, to inspire other pregnant teens to go and do likewise – knowing that no matter what the odds, an unexpected pregnancy does not prevent women from achieving their potential in life.

The story begins with Nicole as a carefree teen, enjoying outings with friends and flirtations with guys. In preparation for her prom, she ponders her date options. She decides, against her better judgment, to go with a charismatic “bad boy” football player whom she suspects may be dealing drugs. But she finds his charm irresistible and he persuades her that her fears are unfounded.

Soon Nicole is dating this young man (RaKeim) and is deeply attached to him. Sadly, her life begins to spiral out of control as she realizes that all of her suspicions were correct – he is a crack dealer trying to live the life of a big time “gangster.” RaKeim is narcissistic, unfaithful, abusive, and obsessed with money. Nicole gets pregnant, moves out of her home to be with RaKeim and cannot seem to come to grips with who he is rather than whom she hopes he will be.

While reading the book, every fiber in your being wants to scream, “Get out, Nicole, he’s no good for you! Run!” But RaKeim knows just how to play with her emotions, and she is reeled back in time and again. A prophetic statement from a doting aunt punctuates the madness of homelessness and crack fiends: “It takes time to get a relationship out of your system.”

And it did take several years for the RaKeim poison to work its way out of Nicole’s life. The turning point came one night when he tried to steal their baby, and then broke down the apartment door and beat Nicole. After menacing calls, being threatened with a gun, and in-person harassment, Nicole came to realize that she would never be safe. The police were unwilling to issue her a restraining order without further proof of RaKeim’s potential for violence. She had to handle this one alone.

As luck would have it, RaKeim was in and out of jail, which gave Nicole some relief from his behavior. During that time she graduated with high honors from the College of William and Mary, enrolled in a Master’s Program, got a job working with sick children at NIH, and found love again.

Nicole’s straight forward account of her struggles makes a few things quite clear: 1) women are not adequately protected by current domestic violence protocols 2) psychopathic men have an uncanny ability to manipulate their victims 3) overcoming the odds is a matter of will, determination, and very hard work and 4) a mother’s love for her child can inspire her to achieve greatness.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nicole’s life, please check out her website at Her book is aptly named: Glori: A Different Story, and I hope that it inspires many other young moms to reach for glory – and to triumph over adversity.

*** Join Nicole’s Group – Click here***

Further resources for teenage moms:

The Healthy Teen Network

Planned Parenthood

Girl Mom

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health AssociationThis post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

How My Husband Gets My Attention

Ok, I’ll admit it – I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Sometimes I ignore my husband while I’m blogging or emailing folks in the evenings or weekends. I know I need to find better “life balance” and give at least my immediate family (kitty and hubby) the right amount of attention.

Regular readers of my blog know that my husband is a funny guy. Lately he has really outdone himself. When I’m deep into a blog post or an email and he wants me to listen to him, he has taken to pulling on my “doctor-heart strings” by announcing that he has a certain disease or condition that needs attention. Of course, my husband is not a physician, so he isn’t sure how to use all the medical terminology that he hears here and there. This is what he said yesterday when I was on the Internet:

Hubby: Help!

Dr. Val: Mrpmph.

Hubby: Help! I need help!

Dr. Val: Hrmph, sigh.

Hubby: Help! I have antalgic encephalopathy!*

Dr. Val: (Cogs and wheels turning as I consider what that fake disease would actually look like). Ha, ha, ha! Ok, honey I get it – you need a hug and some attention.

*For non-doctors: “antalgic” is almost always used to describe a limp to alleviate pain when walking. “Encephalopathy” means degeneration of brain function. So I guess a person with antalgic encephalopathy would be walking funny due to some sort of brain infection/disorder.

How does your significant other get your attention?This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

My Doctor’s Going to be on Good Morning America!

Faithful readers of my blog will recall my effusive praise of my family physician, Dr. Alan Dappen. He is boldly going where few physicians have gone before – offering affordable care to the masses with a transparent fee structure and access to him via phone and email. How is it possible? This is what a doctor can afford to do when he has almost no overhead – he doesn’t have to pay multiple staff to transcribe coding and billing or fill out reems of documentation to satisfy third party payers. He doesn’t have to see patients in person to fill a prescription or otherwise change their management (because payment is not contingent upon a physical exam). No, he gets paid for what the patient actually needs - whether that’s an in-person visit, an email, or a phone call. And the cost for the average person is far lower than a monthly insurance premium would be. A high deductible plan (for potential catastrophic events) and a pay-as-you-go relationship with Dr. Dappen is all that many people would need for good, affordable healthcare.

Well, Good Morning America has caught wind of Dr. Dappen and is featuring him tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 28th) between 7:30-8:00am. I’m really pleased that he’ll receive more attention this way. Of course, I knew he was great before they did. Do I get credit for finding him first?

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

Quote of the Day

My husband said this after contemplating his accidental role as softball captain for his work team:

“I think I’m a closet extrovert.”This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

Why Men Don’t Write Advice Columns

A friend of mine sent me this fake advice column entry (“Dear Walter” instead of “Dear Abby”). I’m so sorry that I don’t know who the original author is, but I’ve seen it around on some blogs. Let me know if you think it rings true!

Dear Walter:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn’t gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out, and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband’s help.

When I got home I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbor lady.  I am 32, my husband is 34, and we have been married for twelve years.

When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months.  I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago, and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won’t go to counseling and I’m afraid I can’t get through to him anymore. Can you please help?

Sincerely, Sheila


Dear Sheila:

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps.


This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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