Navigating the Chapters of Bankruptcy

Due to COVID-19, record numbers of businesses, families and individuals are struggling to fulfill their debt obligations. Filing for bankruptcy can be a very helpful tool, with several options available. Chapter 7:  Individuals and families Chapter 7 can be a quick, easy way to eliminate credit card debt, tax debt, personal loans, old balances from car repossessions and early termination of apartment leases. There is no limit on the amount of debt that Chapter 7 can eliminate.  Chapter 7 does not mean that individuals and families must give up their home, cars, jewelry, bank accounts or other assets.  To qualify, […]

The Truth, Set Me Free

The day I transition I finally became Free to live my life as Karen. When I was Tony, I was happy, but never the way I am now. In this article I will be speaking about myself in the third person about Tony. I am doing so because I am no longer him and he is so different than I am today. He was highly active with friends, women, volunteering and going out and just enjoying what he thought was being happy. The problem, Tony was not truly happy due to a big secret and double life he was living. […]

Is the Housing Market Going Mad?

We are in the middle of the first truly worldwide pandemic in a century. The economy is returning the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Businesses are closing, reducing their workforce, and economists have their hair on fire. So… why is the housing market going like gangbusters? Like so much of what we’re experiencing in 2020, it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense. From actual experience in the Baltimore metro market, and discussions with real estate agents in other places, there simply are not enough homes on the market to meet current demand. Prices […]

Do you pee in Morse Code??!?

September is prostate awareness month which is why I decided to focus on it for a moment. Most people have some level of awareness of prostate cancer, so I will start there.  It has a very high survival rate in part because men get checked regularly after the age of 50 or 55, depending on the comfort of your PCP, other health risks and family history.  I must take a moment to remind all of my trans women friends that regular prostate checks apply to you too, because the prostate is not removed during a vaginoplasty.   The prostate starts out […]

How Bankruptcy Can Bring a Fresh Start

Bankruptcy is a sensitive subject to discuss – especially now during the COVID pandemic when unprecedented numbers of people and businesses worldwide are facing financial hardship. An unnecessary stigma is associated with the word, “bankruptcy,” and many people have the false impression that it means failure. As children, we are taught that bankruptcy is how people lose in Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly. The reality is that bankruptcy can be the best financial decision for individuals, families and business owners. The purpose of bankruptcy, as stated by the Supreme Court in 1934 is to give “the honest but unfortunate debtor…a […]

Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house. Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line. Your Budget:Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

Tips for LGBTQ Youth and Families on Navigating a Virtual Return to School

This back-to-school season will be a unique experience for many LGBTQ youth and their families, with school districts in Maryland and elsewhere starting the year with entirely virtual learning. For some youth, this learning environment will bring relief from harassment and allow them to attend school in a safe environment. Others, however, may feel even more isolated and cut off from sources of social support and affirmation. We asked Dr. Elyse Pine, a provider with Chase Brexton Health Care’s Gender JOY program, for some advice on navigating a back-to-school season unlike any other. What unique difficulties can this uncertain, potentially […]

Flu Season 2020-2021: When Covid Meets Flu

Are there any changes to flu vaccine recommendations because of Covid? Is it more dangerous to get the flu vaccine during the Covid pandemic? Flu vaccine prevents or decreases the severity of influenza, which is a viral infection that mainly affects the lungs. Influenza, or “flu,” is a dangerous illness. It causes severe fatigue (“feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck”), headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy nose, and body aches. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of medical conditions like heart failure, emphysema, asthma, and diabetes.            The word “flu” is often wrongly used to describe other […]

Camaraderie Yesterday And Today

Have you noticed that the way we relate to each other has changed since the invasion of social media in our lives? I hasten to add that that invasion has brought many positive changes as well.  But this pandemic, in its totally unexpected ways, has also affected those changes we have been living with, more often without focused attention. When our survival is threatened, as with this invisible virus infection, we react with emotion because the issue hits the amygdala, the brain center that is programmed to fend off the impending danger, as it should. However, we need to keep […]