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Thank you.
Apr 17, 2006

Hello, Dr. Frascino ~

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my question regarding spironolactone and that, obviously, you can disregard my second, more elaborate, message, which asked essentially the same question. (I do apologize for submitting another.) Not only did you answer my question with explanation, but you also did so in such a timely fashion, and I am extremely grateful. Regardless of your answer, however, I wanted to let you know that I am thankful.

If you will allow me, as I indicated in my second message, I have been lurking on your site for years, and have come to conclude that you, to which many others have also attested, are perhaps the most compassionate, understanding, and empathetic person. I dont know how you do what you do: you provide advice, counsel, information, and dedication on such a level not often seen, and you do so with humor and optimism. These past years have been difficult for me, never for certain knowing, always questioning and doubting. And, I feel completely selfish for such self-absorption when there are those, such as yourself, who live daily with HIV and its manifestations, both physical and societal; sometimes I think that the curse of HIV is not only the physical devastation but also the societal impact, if you will the stigma, the hostility, the ignorance, the hatred spewed by those unaccepting, rejecting. ALS, for example, is a devastating and fatal condition; it is not, however, shunned or ignored by others. This intolerance is unacceptable. People should always strive to help others, to do what can be done to benefit others and not to ignore, disparage, or loathe them. And, unfortunate as it is, but perhaps understandable on some level, some would perhaps embrace the misery loves company ideology and not show such exuberance and optimism for those who are not afflicted. Im not certain I stated that as I mean, however, so please forgive any ambiguity.

As a person who likes to find the silver lining I have asked myself throughout these past years what it is that I have learned, even without knowing for certain my status. The why, if you will, have I been so obsessed and neurotic at times? What is the benefit of my experience? Well, I have learned that I do have strength, not only verbally, but also actively. Everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or bank account, has a right to live a life of equality, free from discrimination, free from the object of hatred and fear, and free from intolerance. I have always felt this way, but now I have a greater understanding of just how important one voice can be: to write those letters, to make those telephone calls, to educate others, to stand up for, and do, what is right rather than just merely think what is. I have learned it is not enough to be a passive bystander.

We all have a gift. Some are more apparent and come in the form of physical qualities (pretty eyes, the ability to run or swim fast, etc.) Some people have the gift of intellect, some have the gift of music (another gift of yours), some have the gift of humor, some have the gift of empathy, some have the gift of kindness, some have the gift of creativity. Most have more than one gift; some do not always use their gift/s in a positive manner. But we are all capable of the gift of love in all its positive and beneficial capacities. You have this, you embrace this, and you live this. I am both touched and humbled. Thank you.

I wanted to let you know that I have made a donation, and while you have comforted and relieved me, I will not discontinue my visiting: I will continue lurking, crying at the bare emotions and fear, and even laughing at times at the more humorous words. (Oh, and by the way, while I never did get any marshmallow peeps, I made do with about three dozen jelly beans. Maybe next year - or maybe this week at the 75%-off table in the grocery store.)

Thank you, again.

Stacey

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Stacey,

Thank you for your very kind comments. I'm delighted you have learned the importance of one voice, because that's all it takes to change the world.

Thank you also for your generous donation. Your one gift will touch many lives in a most meaningful way.

There is no need to lurk here. I have an open-door policy. Stop by anytime. We'll have coffee and compare notes on who ate the most 75%-off marshmallow Peeps. A questioner earlier this evening was absolutely convinced the yellow ones taste different than the pink ones and wanted me to weigh in on this controversy. Since the issue, for some reason, never really crossed my mind, I guess I'll have to do some independent research before I can respond to his query.

Gosh, the things I have to do all in the name of science . . . .

Happy Easter, Stacey.

Stay well. (I'm sure you will.)

Dr. Bob



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