Monday, December 26, 2011


A memoir is the story of your life, as you saw it, as you understood it. It is less formal than an autobiography or a biography. Reasons for writing a memoir include: self-understanding and self-expression, explanations to others, history-preserving, giving thanks. In an earlier blog entry, I have discussed these motivations more fully.

Helping would-be authors is for me a hobby that may become a business. I have decided to charge $25 per week [or $100 per month] for several reasons:

1. People often value what they pay for more than they value what they get for free.

2. Would-be authors who are serious about their writing should be willing to pay this small fee. Those who want more than the initial consultation for free are not as serious and could be wasting my time [and theirs].

3. My setting aside an hour or two a week [consultations, meetings, proofing, related research] for each author at this price is something I am willing to do. Payment by the hour or by the word or by the page or by some other measure did not seem as feasible.

4. A would-be author who is spending $25 per week on my coaching now hears the clock ticking. [“But at my back I always hear / Time’s winged chariot hurrying near….“] It is time to get serious and get going.

5. Some day, I will be in enough demand to charge more.


For a free initial consultation, call me at (845) 778-4204 or write to me at or at 264 East Drive, Walden, NY 12586. Today.

Write on!

Monday, December 19, 2011


The first image in Rob Garber’s presentation at the Orange County (NY) Business Accelerator (OCBA) on Thursday, December 15th, was of a man with his face mostly covered by a low-slung hat and a high-rise collar, staring inquisitively at the audience. You knew he was a spy. Not necessarily. He might have been a curious man out on a cold day. Then again, he might have been a consultant involved in some competitive intelligence acquisition.

Competitive intelligence [CI] is not exactly business-to-business expionage, but it sometimes approaches it. Rob Garber, “marketing and sales consulting” expert [], formerly involved in CI with IBM, Dell, and Computer Associates, emphasized that tactical and strategic CI is more than serving as a clipping service for selecting information from the open literature treasure trove. To be most valuable, facts have got to be followed with analysis that tells the significance of the facts. What do they mean? Why should you care?

Introduced to some thirty-odd attendees by Peter Gregory of OCBA
[] , Garber emphasized the importance of CI for understanding important questions in competitive strategizing:

1. How strong is the competition? How many? How entrenched? What barriers to entry? How differentiated? How will they react to you and you to them?

2. What is your strategy? Low-cost producer? Unique product or service? Niche marketing?

In his book Competitive Strategy. Michael E. Porter, as summarized by Garber, listed five forces that drive industry competition:

1. Potential entrants.

2. Bargaining power of suppliers.

3. Threat of substitute products or services.

4 .Bargaining power of buyers.

5. Rivalry among existing firms.

Competitive intelligence seeks to uncover information and make accurate analysis and predictions relating to these five elements. To do so, it is useful to have:

1. Company profiles in detail.

2. Monthly trend analyses.

3. Quarterly trend reports.

Competitive intelligence with a strategic focus usually goes to executives. The day-to-day sales battles are influenced by CI with a tactical focus, looking for ways to differentiate one’s product or services and to answer questions raised by competitors.

For qualitative information about the marketplace, focus groups are often used. Quantitative information can be gathered from publicly available statistics or from surveys conducted with specific information goals. There is so much public information -- you can “Google” it -- that such secondary information often obviates working to get first-hand, “primary,” data.

A dramatic visual representation of a company’s approaches to the marketplace can be obtained by using the program from that takes the information posted on a company’s web site and creates a mosaic of relevant words in different colors and orientations, the size of each word indicating its relative importance in the material analyzed. Garber’s site was big on “market” and “sales” and related words, on “intelligence” and “competitive,“ with little emphasis on “productivity” or “planning” or “image.”

Competitive analysis can help one keep watch on one’s competition, develop a winning strategy, and better communicate with one’s customers by undestanding their motivations, thus sending them the appropriate messages.

In closing, Peter Gregory, OCBA Enterprise Development Director, noted that in its two years of presentations, there have been more than 2000 attendees who have benefited from the Accelerator’s business education programs. The spirited discussions at the end of this CI talk indicated that it, too, was well received.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is an author, freelance writer, and retired scientist, currently serving as a professional writing coach and collaborator. []











Thursday, December 15, 2011


Recently, Orange County [NY] Chamber Consultants Committee member, advertising and marketing expert Edison Guzman
[] educated an audience of a score of business folk with his seminar, “How to Promote Your Business with Mobile Apps.” “App" is short for “applet,“ which is short for “application.” . Even if the new smart phones seem smarter than we are, we will want to, perhaps need to, learn how to attract customers to our web sites or businesses by using mobile apps.

You have a cell phone. Your competitors have cell phones You have a web site. Your competitors have web sites. You’ve bought a smart phone [Android, iPhone, Blackberry] and so have your competitors. Once you’ve gotten past playing “Angry Birds” on the thing, you notice it does lots of “tricks,” such as giving you the weather anywhere, helping you find your way home or find a bargain, update you an the news, etc. You may discover it allows your potential customers to shop at your competitors, on-line. Time to saddle up your own app.

What is an app? A mobile app is a little program that resides in your mobile phone and performs a specific task. A web app gets partially or wholly downloaded to your mobile phone each time you want to do what it facilitates. The price for obtaining the app is generally a couple of dollars or less.

I have a dumb mobile phone, but half of the 4 billion mobile phones in use are smart phones. It is predicted that by 2014 internet usage over mobile phones will dominate internet usage by desktop computers. Already, half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. Your customers are often on their mobile phones: 86% of users have used them while watching TV! [Statistics are from E. Guzman, courtesy of Microsoft.]

Mobile devices are being used for games, weather reports, maps, social networking, music, news, entertainment, dining, video, and more, in descending order of frequency. Occasionally, a phone call is made. They are also using them to shop. A business can supply a useful app that also sells, advertises, demonstrates or gives away information about the products or services; captures names, email addresses, cell phone numbers; advertises someone else’s product or service [for a small fee or favor].

The latter part of Mr. Guzman’s seminar showed the participants what goes into making an app. For most of us, the message boiled down to, “don’t try this at home.” There are, as he showed, programs available to ease your making your “killer app,” but there are complexities better left to the professional, such as Mr. G., my own go-to guru.

The future? Over one trillion dollars in mobile commerce (m-commerce) by 2015, world-wide, led by Japan, then Europe, then the U.S. Get on board!

Submitted 12.15.11 for publication in the OCCC Business Viewpoint

Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and retired environmental scientist, author of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published September 2011, available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or his Web site. He has been reporting on his first year with the Chamber.
His email address is

Monday, December 12, 2011


The Dedication page of our book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love,
Courage, and Devotion
has two quotations that describe almost contradictory aspects of romantic love:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

–Khalil Gibran, The Prophet


All that we love deeply becomes part of us.

–Helen Keller


Gibran would have us let each other go free. Keller knows that having deeply loved, we are changed and cannot be wholly free.

John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” assures us that even when separated, we are connected, our love stretches. Toward the middle of his poem, Donne likens the connection between separated lovers’ souls to “gold to airy thinness beat.” The thin gold foil may expand and attenuate, but it does not break. He ends with the metaphor of a circle-drawing compass, with its moving foot representing the lover who must travel away, while the central “fixed foot” always leans and “hearkens after it.” The poem ends,

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end where I begun.


Sometimes, Gibran's “hand of life” is controlled by Keller's love that has become “part of us.” Or does fate control? This song became appropriate for us twenty years after parting, when Tina and I married:

You were meant for me.

And I was meant for you.

You’re like a plaintive melody

That never, ever, never, ever let me free,

And I’m content

The angels must have sent you

And they meant you

Just for me.

[written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown].

We say, we sometimes believe, that we were “fated to be mated.”


The last poem in this brief treatise was called to my attention by Bonnie, a young woman I dated shortly after losing Tina. For my last hundred days in the U.S. Army, she gave me a desk calendar with a quotation, written in her elegant penmanship, for each day. One I never forgot ran:

Much that I sought, I could not find.

Much that I found, I could not bind.

Much that I bound, I could not free.

Much that I freed, returned to me.

—Lee Wilson Dodd

Bonnie and I freed each other; neither returned. Tina and I freed each other; both returned.

Poets are not infallible.



Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a freelance writer, a writing coach, a retired physicist. His book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, was published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO) and is available through Amazon [], Barnes and Noble [], or .


Friday, December 9, 2011


Darcie Chan's MILL RIVER RECLUSE  self-published ebook a big success despite its having no conventional publishing house:

John Locke had similar results, from his series of novels.


According to the Wall Street Journal this September 15th, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to delay issuing more regulations concerning the emission of “greenhouse gases” by power plants. Perhaps coincidentally, a New York Times + CBS poll has found that a minority of those surveyed (42%) thought both that global warming was occurring and that it is caused by mankind. That poll indicates global warming was not among the issues of greatest concern, either. As I describe below, scientists are having second thoughts about the models that claim to show that human activities threaten the planet’s climate. Emails exchanged by a coterie of climate researchers have disclosed that some of the “warmist” climate modelers violated scientific mores in order to suppress scrutiny and criticism of their work. The ten-year period 1999-2009 showed no global temperature increase, leading the magazine SCIENCE to ask in a headline, “What Happened to Global Warming? Scientists Say Just Wait a Bit.” Many are still waiting. Meanwhile, global warming alarm-sounder Al Gore recently purchased a California home by the Pacific Ocean shore, indicating little fear about the rising sea levels that he and his followers have been predicting.

Tens of thousands of years ago, ice covered much of the land we now inhabit. Wholly natural causes warmed the earth, melted the ice, allowed plants and animals to thrive where once they were excluded. Within our recorded history, we have had periods significantly warmer (Medieval Warm Period, 900-1300 A.D.) and periods significantly colder (Little Ice Age, 1300-1500) than the modern era, none of these changes being attributable to human activity. Some climate researchers believe that there is a 1500-year climate warming / cooling pattern due to the overlapping of several solar cycles of shorter periods. Recently, the prevailing “scientific consensus” has been that humans have been contributing somewhat to a general global warming by their emissions of carbon dioxide, primarily due to industrial and agricultural development. United Nations’ scientific panels have concluded that if we do not drastically reduce such industrial activity and emissions, the atmosphere will become dangerously warm; the polar ice caps will melt; the seas will rise; widespread destruction will ensue. A set of agreements reached in Kyoto (1997) called for emissions control limits subsequently found to be impractical, with some of the more egregiously emitting nations exempted for economic and political reasons.

In the past few years, ardor for control of “greenhouse gases,” principally carbon dioxide and methane, has cooled, at least among the public, as reflected in public opinion polls. Some notable scientists have called the global warming modeling and warnings into question, as well. This September, the 1973 Nobel Laureate physicist Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in protest against the Society’s, to him dogmatic, position that the evidence for global warming is so strong that it is “incontrovertible” that global warming due to these emissions is occurring and that therefore we “must reduce emissions of these greenhouse gases starting now.” In his resignation letter, Dr. Giaever noted that the claimed change in the average temperture of the earth (a tricky measurement indeed) was less than two degrees Farenheit over the last 150 years, while human well-being has clearly improved.

This year a dissenting panel of scientists, including some eminent atmosphere and climate specialists, issued the report “Climate Change Reconsidered,” casting doubt on the accuracy of the predictions of dire consequences in the absence of stringent carbon dioxide emissions controls. The data on which the predictions had been based are spotty. Temperature measurements are missing over much of the globe. Those made on land can be corrupted by local effects. Despite their sophisticalion, the models used in predicting climate change cannot capture many crucial phenomena, including the influence and variability of clouds. The report concluded that we do not have the kind of information yet on which to base sweeping economic and political changes to limit further industrialization.

Why is it so hard to predict the impact of “greenhouse gases” on climate? In short, because there are so many potentially important factors still inadequately understood. A simple model of the Earth-Sun system would be a rotating, dry planet, lacking an atmosphere, heated by the Sun, reflecting some of that energy, but radiating more and more of it as the planet gets warmer, until the outgoing reflected and radiated energy match, on average, the incoming energy. The mean global temperature of this model Earth would still vary, as the Earth’s position with respect to the Sun varies and as the output of the Sun itself varies. If we were to add an atmosphere of just oxygen and nitrogen, the energy balance would be much the same, and the temperature of the atmosphere near the surface would match that of the surface. Adding “greenhouse gases” in significant amounts negligibly changes the energy received at the surface of the Earth from the Sun, but they would absorb some of the energy radiated by the warmed surface, due to the longer wavelengths of this primarily infrared radiation, some of which wavelengths are absorbed preferentially by the “greenhouse gases.” Compared to the situation without the “greenhouse gases,“ the Earth’s surface will be somewhat higher, thus the air temperture will be somewhat higher due to this blanketing effect, the partial absorption of the outgoing radiation. This is the “greenhouse effect.”

Most of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, primarily the oceans. As the wet (or merely moist, as for land) surfaces heat up, water evaporates, rises thorugh the atmosphere, cools, condenses, forms clouds, and precipitates as rain, hail, snow. This is where modeling becomes more difficult. Clouds reflect some of the sunlight, lessening the energy reaching the Earth. If the Earth were wholly covered by clouds, as in the “Nuclear Winter” scenarios associated with nuclear war, the temperature of the Earth’s surface and of the air would fall drastically, leading to widespread plant and animal extinction. If the clouds were primarily dust, as in the Nuclear Winter scenario, they would dissipate in time due to precipitation and settling (“fallout“). If the clouds were primarily water, they would produce rain and snow, etc., and become diminished in total weight, in thickness, in extent. As the clouds diminished, their cooling effect would diminish and the Earth would heat up, leading to more evaporation and the replenishment of the clouds, eventually restoring the former temperature equilibrium..

This tendency of clouds to correct over-heating or over-cooling is “negative feedback,” an important feature of the atmosphere as yet to be successfully modeled. The impacts on cloud formation due to cosmic rays, micrometeors, volcanoes, sea spray salt, and other open sources like deserts and quarries and unpaved roads, etc., complicate the physical situation greatly and make modeling extremely difficult. As Science News of December 4, 2010, noted, there is little known about “how tiny particles called aerosols influence climate.” A retired expert in aerosol science myself, I believe that these airborne particles are likely to be quite important and yet difficult to model correctly.

Often the modelers must introduce adjustable parameters, “fudge factors,” in laymen’s terms, to “account” for all that cannot be carefully described. The models are “tuned” by comparing with past data and adjusting these factors. As we are warned with respect to investing, “the past is no guarantee of the future.” A model that fails to match the past is certainly suspect, but even one that is tuned successfully to match the past may not be reliable for prediction.

The past ten years have shown no unambiguous global warming. Since there are myriad possible measurements, by “cherry picking” the data the “warmists” can make the case for warming and the “deniers” can make the opposite case. Currently, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is nearly 400 ppm. The 2 to 4 ppm per year of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere that is attributed to human activity (is “anthropogenic”) is unlikely to become a problem in the next few decades. Doubling the CO2 level in the atmosphere is predicted to increase mean global temperature by roughly two degrees Farenheit. Doubling the carbon dioxide level would require roughly a hundred-fold increase in mankind’s “contribution,” not impossible, but unlikely, especially as energy technology continues to improve. The impact would be warmer nights, with relatively unchanged days, the modelers predict. Plants should grow more rapidly. A somewhat greater fraction of the Earth’s surface will become temperate, suitable for plants and animals, the biosphere. Recently, sea levels have been rising at a rate close to 1 foot per century, certainly manageable. Granted, any changes produce winners and losers. There are reasons to believe that the scariest consequences will not result, but there are too many issues to analyze them all here.

We will likely not see calamitous results from “global warming” in the next few decades. Meanwhile, we will learn to adapt to those changes that do result. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove this, so the debates between “alarmists” and “deniers” can be expected to continue. As more is known about the impacts of man and nature on our climate, one can hope that the temperature of these debate will lessen.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and retired physicist, author of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, available from Outskirts Press and His email address is .

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Should you write a book? Quite possibly so.

Your life is a story that has both triumphs and tragedies, tears and laughter, lessons learned and a few of them re-learned. Family, friends, neighbors, and associates might find your story valuable. You can praise some and criticize others, as appropriate. You can promote values you hold dear.

Through modern publishing techniques, a high-quality book can be published more rapidly and less expensively than ever before. Furthermore, the Internet can broadcast your writing to the world, if you choose.

How did you start? Where have you gone? Why? What has your family done, enjoyed, endured? If you have traced your ancestry, who were your ancestors and what did they do? How has your past shaped your present? These are possible avenues to explore in your book. Once finished, it will be available not only to this generation but others to follow.

A second type of book you could write would be one about your business or profession. Your book can be even more impressive than the best of business cards, helping to confirm you as one having real expertise.

My name is Douglas Winslow Cooper. I wrote a book in 2011 as a gift to my wife. The title is Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion. We have been in love for nearly half a century. We have faced her increasing disability due to multiple sclerosis with courage and devotion. Our memoir is a tribute to her, to our doctors and nurses, and to the power of love and the value of life. Writing the book took several months and getting it self-published another several. It is available on,, and through our Web site, I have already given hundreds of the paperback and ebook versions as thank-you gifts to those who have helped us, and I have even sold a few.

Although I had published over a hundred articles, this was my first book. I was afraid of the challenge at first, but soon became enthusiastic. To follow up on this successful book-writing experience, I am planning to serve others as a paid coach, editor, co-author, or “ghost-writer.” I am working with two such would-be authors already.

I will give you up to an hour of free telephone consultation about your book. If we decide to meet, I will give you a copy of Ting and I: A Memoir, so you can see it for yourself.

Interested? Give me a call [845-778-4204] or write to me at or by regular mail at Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., 264 East Drive, Walden, NY, 12586.

By next year, you could be the author of your book, with my help.


David Dirks's talk at Orange County Business Accelerator, 12.08.11, summarized:

Even in a recession, innovation can give a small business the edge it needs to succeed, as long as the business is basically sound. Business consultant David E. Dirks [Focus Media] captivated an audience of a score of individuals involved in small businesses (less than $1 million per year) with his lecture, “How to Manage Innovation in Small and Early Companies,” presented at the Orange County Business Accelerator on Thursday, December 8th. He was introduced by Michael J. DiTullo, O.C.B.A. Managing Director [].

Dirks [who writes a bi-weekly column for the Record] outlined five myths surrounding innovation:

Myth #1 -- Innovation is for big companies only. Not so. For example, James Dyson developed his revolutionary cyclonic-action vacuum cleaner on his own.

Myth #2 -- Innovation requires lots of money. Money is useful, of course, but Apple Computer’s $4 billion per year Research and Development budget has brought forth far more innovative products than Sony’s or Microsoft’s, at twice and three times as much yearly expenditure, respectively. Often small businesses are acquired by larger ones just for their innovative technology.

Myth #3 -- Customers will innovate for you. No, they bring problems. You must create solutions.

Myth #4 -- Innovation comes in flashes, “epiphanies.” Rather, new solutions more often come from careful, almost tedious, inspection of the facts, “connecting the dots.”

Myth #5 -- Innovation comes from luck, randomly. Edison said he had ten thousand failures, along with his one thousand patents. Dyson tried 5,127 different attempts before getting a successful vacuum cleaner. Pluck, not luck, prevails.

“If you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door” is not strictly true, either. Dyson presented his innovative vacuum cleaner to all the existing vacuum cleaner manufacturers. They were not interested, partly because it was so different, partly because they made a significant fraction of their profit by selling the replacement filter bags. Customers, on the other hand, have made Dyson’s machines big commercial successes.

Dirks emphasized that small businesses can innovate well if they focus on solving problems for customers. New ideas can either remove constraints, thus producing “incremental” change, such as Wal-Mart’s highly efficient supply chain or can produce “disruptive” change, bringing to life a product consumers did not know they needed until they saw it, such as Apple’s iPod.

After the meeting, the attendees coalesced into several small groups for further discussion. This reporter acquired a client for his book-coaching business in one such a get-together.

The Orange County Business Accelerator celebrated its 110th week in operation with this highly successful seminar by Focus Media business consultant Dirks, whose former Marine Corp experience was evident from his making such presentations clearly, authoritatively, and concisely.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a scientist, freelance writer and author of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, available as an ebook or paperback, from Outskirts Press, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. His email address is .

Thursday, December 1, 2011


“Don’t get married, unless…” I told my son, now 30, handsome, smart, tall, successful, considerate, a prize. I’ll get to the “unless” part later.

Men and women have different priorities for marriage, generally, and I will make lots of generalizations in this piece, so be forewarned: this is not the Gospel According to Doug, but it does reflect what I’ve observed or learned in sixty-eight years on the planet, including a dozen romances, three engagements, two marriages, this last, glorious one for 27 years so far. Don’t ask for footnotes. Believe my opinions or not, as you will.

Having issued my disclaimer, I continue. Men mainly marry for romance and sex or sex and romance. They are not looking for a wonderfully clean and neat house and delicious meals, though they will accept them as long as they themselves are not required to pitch in and make the place much nicer than a bachelor pad or have meals a lot better than Chinese or Italian take-out or Wendy’s or McDonald’s. A minority of men marry so as to have children, but most see kids as what their wives want and as a cost of being married to the woman they want. Some men marry for the benefits of partnership, including financial partnership, as do some women, but that situation is likely to change when the kids come along, going from a net positive to a net negative. Who’s watching the kids? Men would rather not. Some attention to doing guy things with a son or being Dad to Daddy’s Girl is appealing, but not when it conflicts with the Super Bowl or playing softball or basketball or a night out with the guys.

Occasionally, men like to talk with their wives. Occasionally. At home, I have a staff of ten women who supply around-the-clock nursing care for my beloved quadriplegic wife, Tina Su Cooper. I listen to them talk among themselves, and talk with Tina, and I remain amazed at how much they have to say. I married a quiet woman, a blessing for me. She does like to hear me talk with her and joke with her--- or so I believe --- but I quickly run out of stuff to say, beyond variations on “I love you.” At times I do miss having the longer conversations we once had. One of our nurses follows behind whoever is home, like a duckling behind its mother, talking non-stop. Another nurse gives T.L.C., “Tina Loving Care,” with continuous commentary, and Tina thrives on it. I wish I could, but I can’t. My supply of small talk is too small.

Men do like their wives to be pretty. It’s like a scenic view. Some use this as a status symbol, having the “trophy wife.”. Recently, a woman columnist gave the following advice for girls in their twenties for succeeding at work: be as pretty as you can; be assertive; be warm. My advice is: pretty and warm are great; save “assertive” for the workplace; don’t bring it home. Don’t be challenging your man unless absolutely necessary. Don’t talk to your man in a way that would start a fist-fight if another man did so. That does not mean allowing yourself to be pushed around, taken advantage of, but choose your battles and make them few. Men do not want to marry a competitor, but rather a companion.

Opposites may attract, but similarities help keep you together. Although not deal-breakers, these are problematic: spender vs. saver, rich vs. poor, educated vs. not, drinker vs. abstainer, vegan vs. carnivore, believer vs. atheist, sportsman vs. fashionista, merciful vs. just, conservative vs. liberal, thinker vs. feeler, judgmental vs. tolerant, party animal vs. party pooper, doer vs. watcher, striver vs. enjoyer, other-directed vs. inner-directed,. With mutual respect, some of these differences can be bridged. Different perspectives and values can lead to better decisions sometimes, but at the expense of harmony. Rocky and Adrian may well have “filled gaps,” but that’s Hollywood. Wives of retirees have been known to complain that they married “for better or worse” but not “for lunch.“ There’s a reason birds of a feather flock together. Can’t have half flying north for the winter. My precious wife and I are very similar in many ways, and it has helped us understand each other and agree on goals and methods. Although she is Asian American, she would agree that our “mixed marriage” is less “mixed” due to race or ethnicity than it is because of gender. Men and women are different. Get over it … if you can.

I live in New York State. Discussing marriage law with my own family lawyer, we agreed that currently the laws, rules, and judges here tend to favor women over men. This represents a change from fifty years ago, in some ways warranted, but it makes marriage in this state less attractive for men than previously.

Then, there are the horror stories: The marriages for money, celebrity, fame, looks, status. The birth control not practiced so a pregnancy would occur. Marriage “on the rebound” from a broken prior romance. The bait and switch of a courtship that promises what the marriage forsakes. The homosexual or bi-sexual who uses the marriage as cover. The clashes with in-laws hostile to the marriage. The pitfalls are many and deep.

If we had a daughter, I might tell her much the same things I would tell our son: Happily married is better than single, which is better than unhappily married. Marry for love but consider practicality, as both will be needed. Each partner will seem to give more than get, as each values somewhat differently the inputs and the results. Have a small, pretty wedding, and put what you saved in the bank. Don’t talk about your marriage with others, except when truly necessary. Don’t demean your partner. Live up to all your marriage vows. Marriage can be wonderful, often is, but love and marriage are both fragile.

In fact, I have been married twice. The first brought me eight happy years, a shock [my wife’s affair] and an unhappy two years separating and divorcing. The second marriage has brought me twenty-seven love-filled years and two special sons, from my wife’s first marriage. I consider myself fortunate.

I told my younger son not to get married unless he really wants children or is madly in love---uxorious---as I am with his mother, my most precious Ting.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is an author, caregiver, and retired environmental physicist. Dr. Cooper’s book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, is available at,, and their web site .

Sunday, November 27, 2011


As noted in an earlier piece, “Together forever” is written on the heart-shaped gold charm I gave my wife, Tina Su Cooper, for our 25th wedding anniversary June 2009. It’s a promise we will keep, as life and death allow. Two burial plots, side by side, have been reserved. One headstone will be used for the two of us. At the bottom, it will say, “Together forever.”


The topic of death and burial arose after another lovely “roll and stroll” near our lakeside country home in the park-like surroundings. I do not understand why it came up, but we agreed we liked the thought of resting side by side, “almost as though we are holding hands,” Tina said, much as we did when we could at Cornell, and --- much later --- when married. Hopefully, our souls would be reunited in heaven, as we are approximately equally Christian. If not, our graves would be markers, monuments, to our love.


I reminded Tina of a headstone I had seen in Ramsey,  NJ, a man’s tribute to his wife, “Pretty to talk with. Witty to talk with.”


“Am I witty?” she asked.

“Sometimes … especially if you extend ‘wit” from simply ‘humor’ to ‘intelligence' and ‘sense.’”


Then we got silly: “I told you I was sick.” “Should have called 911.” “Wrote: The Variable-Slit Impactor and Aerosol Size Distribution Analysis.” “Immobile” and “Immobile, too.” “Keep off the grass.”


She asked me whether she should commit suicide if I should die first. No, remember me and pray for me and live as long as you can. I will do the same for you.


It brings tears to my eyes now, but we are reassured by the plan: “Together forever,” come what may. No joke there.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


From Ting and I:

Tina and I thank the professionals at the Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY (Horton Campus), who have several times saved Tina’s life.

We thank Drs. A. Baradaran, P. Chidyllo, A. Fruchter, F. Guneratne, S. Koyfman, and R. F. Walker for their skilled assistance in preserving Tina’s life, as noted more fully in this book, during the post-hospitalization period. Dr. M. Kaplitt of N.Y. Presbyterian Hospital we thank for his brain-saving operation on me.

We also thank the nurses who have cared for Tina in our home, highly capable and caring women who have been committed to Tina’s good health and morale.

We have been fortunate to have IBM’s generous retiree medical benefits, which we appreciate. I had chosen to go to work for IBM partly for that reason.

Three of the four insurance companies who have been IBM’s agents in supporting Tina’s medical care, and my own, deserve our praise: John Hancock, Empire Blue Cross / Blue Shield, and United Healthcare.

For their contributions to the book, and their contributions to our lives, we thank the following specifically, and many others who have helped and encouraged us:

Family: Phil Chiang, Ted Chiang, Eugene Su, Priscilla Cooper, Diana Cooper, Cliff Cooper, and Chris Cooper.

Friends: Nancy Meisenzahl, Mary Kay Solera, Deanne Gebell Gitner, Judy Jayson Sonfield, Elaine Tashiro Gerbert, Wendy Loveless Garfein, Ruth Goldberg, Phil Nodhturft, Norman Wasserman, John Skoufis, Kathy Miscioscio.

Staff: Barbara George, Diane Beggin, Terry Bush, Kathy Karpiak, Angela Mullings, Kate Murphy, Dori Oskam, Audrey Pottinger, Maria Schmick, Michele Shehata, and Mary Wilkinson.

For permission to use their portrait of Tina from May 1967, we thank Bachrach Studios of Boston. For the excellent black-and-white portrait inspired by that photograph, we thank Mike Jaroszko of the Wallkill River School of Art.

Finally, the author is pleased to thank our friend and editor, Ellen Goldensohn, for her careful and intelligent editing of this work, a gift to both Tina and me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Excellent quarter-hour talk by Simon Sinek. Viewed 3 million times thus far on

Great leaders focus on WHY, with HOW and WHAT following naturally.

The Wright brothers succeeded when better-funded competitors failed, because the brothers inspired their team with a VISION of powered flight, rather than seeking fame or money.

Inspire others by getting them to share your DESIRE / PURPOSE. The rest will follow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


They don’t see her at the supermarket. Many neighbors have never seen her either. She’s not at multiple sclerosis patients’ support groups any more. Tina Su Cooper is almost the Invisible Woman.

Quadriplegic and nearly inseparable from her ventilator, Tina can be seen at various doctors’ offices a dozen times a year, and she goes to our polling place in November to vote. I help her make an “X.” The poll-workers greet her warmly, recognizing her, admiring her spirit. Born in China in 1944, Su Ting-ting became Tina Han Su and eventually Tina Su Cooper, my beloved wife. That story is told in our book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion. Her patriotism is praised there, and part of her feeling for America is reflected in her determination to vote, when possible.

Tina is not quite invisible. She is also softly audible. Our nurses hold the phone for her when a call comes and dial for her when she wants to call out. Her most important statements are made to us at home:

“Thank you.”

“How are you? How are your children?”

“Have you eaten yet?”

“I love you.”

She is an inspiration to those who know her.

There must be many nearly invisible folk in America. One of our staff has a severely handicapped child whose usual day is: at home, on a bus, in a special school, back on the bus, and back home. On rare occasions he will visit other family members or they will visit him. If he goes with his mother to the supermarket, most people look away, producing another form of near-invisibility. The handicapped make some of us uncomfortable. What should we do? Should we help ? Should we give them the privacy of not staring at them? Do they remind us of a fate that could have been ours?

Unfortunately, the patients who most need help are often invisible to all but a very few. Tina cannot attend meetings. She cannot write articles, for several reasons. She can be the kindest, sweetest, dearest person I know. When she asked me to write about her, to write about us, I felt I had to. It would help make her much more visible.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Winter Issue, 2011. Fine presentation of what I originally entitled "Undefeated."

Ting and I


by Douglas Winslow Cooper

“Please, God, don’t let her die,” I prayed and pleaded as I walked our dog around our little lake in early March of 2004. Tina Su Cooper, my beloved wife, had been in a medically induced coma for a week in the Critical Care Unit of the Orange Regional Medical Center. She had a severe case of aspiration pneumonia, part of an MS exacerbation. The infection had spread throughout her body. She was not expected to live.


I had called the 911 emergency number near midnight the week before. Tina’s temperature was rising alarmingly fast. The EMTs got her to the Emergency Room twenty minutes before I arrived. She told them that she did not want any invasive procedures, no tubes down her throat, etc. I countermanded that, having her power of attorney and knowing that this was no time for fuzzy thinking. Her MS, especially when she was feverish, had diminished her cognitive abilities, which had earned her honors at Cornell and Harvard and an editorial position at the Encyclopedia Britannica.


“Do whatever you must to save her life,” I instructed the medical personnel. Thus began a one-hundred-day battle to keep Tina alive.


Later, when she was out of the coma but still near death, now quadriplegic, unable to speak due to an air tube that ran between her lips and down her throat, being fed intravenously, I asked her whether I had made the right choice, to take all steps needed to save her life. Yes, she nodded, emphatically, yes.


Our love story began in January 1963. Cornell University formed the beautiful backdrop for our romance. When Tina Su walked into the second semester of the language course I was taking, Chinese 102, I saw the incarnation of my feminine ideal: lovely, slender, soft-spoken, elegant without pretension, graceful. After a few “coffee dates,” I learned that this Chinese - American woman was also intelligent, learned, cheerful, talented, considerate, kind, and more than somewhat attracted to me, too. By Valentine’s Day, 1963, we were officially in love, “going steady.” That included going hand-in-hand together whenever and wherever we could. When it was cold, we would each shed one glove and share my coat pocket. We loved to walk and to talk, to hug and to kiss. Bliss.


She was a freshman and I was a junior. We had three glorious semesters left in which we fell even more deeply in love. Usually, a couple as old as we were would have become engaged to marry, perhaps soon after Tina had graduated. It had already become clear, however, that an interracial marriage would estrange Tina from her parents (as happened to her younger brother several years later). My own parents argued that such a marriage would bring added complications for ourselves and for any children we might have. Then, too, we were young, with little real experience in the adult world. Neither would want to have a wrong decision harm the other. We accepted parental persuasion and pressure and parted very sorrowfully when I graduated, in June of 1964. We each cried a lot that summer.


Tina’s parents arranged for her to take her junior year abroad in England, where her father, a professor of engineering, took his sabbatical year at the same time, and her mother accompanied him. That put the Atlantic Ocean between us, a large moat.


While Tina was in England, I was drafted into the army. She returned to finish at Cornell, went to Harvard, dated men of Chinese ancestry only, and married promising scientist from Taiwan, who took a faculty position in Chicago. She spent the next fifteen years under his thumb. He had expected a traditional Chinese woman, but she was an American girl with a Chinese flavor. Their marriage was rocky, but two fine sons were born. Her first MS exacerbation, with a temporary partial paralysis, came right after that second son’s birth. Her husband, more committed to career than to family, had little time for any of them.


After serving in the U.S. Army, I went on to graduate school at Penn State and Harvard. I married a Caucasian woman who reminded me of Tina, and steadily progressed professionally an associate professor of environmental physics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Unfortunately, eight years into my marriage, I found out my wife was having an affair. She was from a rich family and thought she could get away with it. Wrong. We divorced. Later on, I dated, even got engaged, then disengaged. None had been Tina’s equal.


On an academic business trip via Chicago, I called Tina. We had been separated nineteen years, but it was so comfortable to talk with her, it was more like we had been apart for weeks, not years. Before calling, I had suspected her marriage was in trouble. I told her I had to know whether we could ever be married. I planned to wait, if necessary.

“Nothing has changed for me in twenty years,” she stated circumspectly, meaning that she loved me as much as she ever had.


Soon after this, we talked via long-distance phone calls. She did a courageous thing, an honorable thing: she told me she had multiple sclerosis. I read about it, spent a very sad night imagining her some day to be quadriplegic, on a ventilator, fed through tubes. Could I handle that, if I had to? Yes. Could I bear to walk away and learn some day she had gone through that without me? No.


“Will you marry me?”


“Yes, yes, yes!”


I had yet to see her. When we did finally meet, I was thrilled. She was all I hoped she would be.


On June 2, 1984, a year later, we were married. Her father toasted us after the wedding, “Love conquered all.” As one of the conquered, he would know. Her parents had “surrendered” gracefully, after all. Our wedding rings were inscribed, “a dream come true.”


Near June 2, 2004, twenty years later, the decision had to be made: to a home or to a hospice for Tina? She was catching infections from the other patients in the hospital, a place of rescue had become dangerous. Would we fight to preserve her life at home, in a replica of the Critical Care Unit, or did she want to give up? “Be a brave soldier,” her father often told her in her youth. We fight on, my brave soldier and I, undefeated, so far.


The doctors estimated she would live only a few months. We’ve had seven years, precious, sometimes difficult, wonderful years.


I thank God daily for the miracle of another day that we are together. To life!



Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., retired physicist, is a freelance writer who has written Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, published this fall by Outskirts Press, available through and .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


“The fastest way to become famous is to throw a brick at someone famous,” the noted 20th-century columnist, Walter Winchell, said and lived up to, stirring up many a controversy. Another approach is to throw bouquets, as one million-book-selling novelist explained in his book on his own trek toward fame and fortune.

Plunder or pander, two options. A New York theater critic today told radio show host Don Imus how he parlayed a history B.A. degree from Columbia University and a minor writing gig into a successful theater critic career by taking on Frank Rich, then king of the hill, ogre of the orchard, in the Big Apple. Fine, if his differences with Rich were sincere. Not fine, if those differences were merely fabricated to advance his own career.

The aforementioned million-ebook-selling novelist, “enovelist” more precisely, recommended exchanging favorable reviews on with others of his ilk. When I see favorable blurbs from other writers on book covers, I am going to be more skeptical from now on. “Go along to get along” or “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” evidently extends beyond the political sphere, where insincerity is too often the rule rather than the exception.

The Occupy Wall Streeters and allied protestors have gained publicity and adherents by their choice of targets to criticize, and much of the country has decided they are to be applauded or derided for their choice and their activities. While some, perhaps most, in the occupying crowds are expressing sincerely held feelings, occasionally well founded opinions, others no doubt have joined up for the fun or the fame. Targeting those richer than oneself is envy or ignorance if the wealth is deserved, a pursuit of justice if the wealth is undeserved. How are we to know?

To savage or to suck up, that is the question. Either or neither can be appropriate, depending on your motives…and your information.

Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and a retired physicist, author of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion., available thorugh,, and .His web site is, email address

Sunday, November 13, 2011


From Ting and I: A Memoir

Some people argue that it is a waste to spend our resources on the disabled, especially as they get older. I disagree. It is a dangerous philosophy.

We value things on the basis of their usefulness and their scarcity. Water is useful, but widely available, thus generally inexpensive. Silver has practical and monetary uses and is relatively scarce, so it is much more expensive than water.

We do not know how long we will live. As we get older, we know there is less time left; it is scarcer. If we can make good use of it, enjoy it, be helpful, whatever, then the scarcity enhances its value. Even if what we do is not as good as it was years before, the years we have left can be quite precious. Tina’s life is precious, as is my own.

Some social planners come from another perspective, viewing public funds for medical care as “investments.” Babies who are unwanted or unlikely to survive do not merit investment, in this view. Your productive value goes up as you grow up, become educated, enter the work force.

Toward retirement, your productivity may decline. When old, at the very least, you have only a few more years in which to produce. These planners are reluctant to “invest” much more in you. Time to “pull the plug” on Grandpa or Grandma. Get that DNR order signed, and let them expire with the next heart attack. This approach is “rational” from a public-expenditure viewpoint, though it takes no account of the value of the ill person to himself and to those who care about him. It is part of a slippery slope that goes from not treating to euthanizing.

Notice that none of these calculations take into account gratitude for past actions. Some people have not done merely what they were paid for on the jobs they had. They have done more than required, better, cheerfully, cooperatively on the job, at home, with their families, friends, neighbors, community, country. Shouldn’t this all count, too? A good Granny deserves better treatment than a bad one.

Tina’s care has been expensive. We’ve spent money. IBM has spent more and Medicare has had a share. We certainly expected to help pay our medical costs. IBM recruited me partly though the attractiveness of its medical benefits program, which I knew we might someday need. When IBM wanted to cut its work force, I volunteered, again considering future needs for medical coverage. That leaves Medicare: decades of withdrawals from my paychecks have gone to this program, with the notional “locked-box account” for coverage of my family and me. As with other insurance, some people end up needing more and others less, a lottery of sorts. Fair enough, we thought. Now, some suggest we are “selfish” to be getting “more than our share” of medical coverage. We are not exactly winners of a lottery, but no one argues that winners of lotteries are “selfish” for collecting “more than their share.”


Ting and I
A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion
By Douglas Winslow Cooper
Offered with love to Tina Su Cooper, the light of my life
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
–Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
All that we love deeply becomes part of us.
–Helen Keller

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


From Ting and I: A Memoir

The Pennsylvania State University, 1966– 69

Part of what attracted me to the research assistant position I took at Penn State’s Center for Air Environment Studies (CAES) was the likelihood that I would be admitted to the graduate physics program with a full U.S. Public Health Service Traineeship, with tuition and living expenses paid, for the two years needed to get the M.S. degree. I had graduated from Cornell in physics with honors and had scored at the 99th percentile in the verbal and 99th percentile in the quantitative aptitude tests in the Graduate Record Exams that I took my senior year. Indeed, I not only was admitted to Penn State but was awarded the Traineeship.

The work at CAES dealt with pollutant particles and gases in the air, and I had my first technical paper published, dealing with using light to measure airborne dirt, “Effect of Humidity on Light-scattering Methods of Measuring Particle Concentrations.” It was a great pleasure to see it in print. As with many of my subsequent publications, it dealt with subtleties in measurement and data analysis and interpretation, especially as applied to airborne particles. Eventually, over a thirty-year span, I had more than 125 papers published in refereed technical journals, some of which I was quite proud.

At CAES I also did some lecturing, primarily to undergraduates who would become air pollution technicians. The work there was a nice mix of experiments, data analysis, lecturing and writing. A colleague, John Davis, became a lifelong friend.

Somewhat sadly, I learned of the transient nature of much professional achievement early, at CAES. The widow of a noted engineer/scientist donated his two score technical publications, done in a related technical area, to the Center. We accepted gracefully, but when I looked them over afterward, they were already outdated or of marginal significance. Sic transit gloria mundi. Science had marched on.

I also learned about transience of scientific fads. Lasers were new and were “in.” They had become available commercially only a few years earlier, and my M.S. thesis advisor and I were able to get Federal research funding to use them in particle measurement studies. From this came my M.S. thesis and, later, three technical publications. The work was also the basis of a successful grant award that funded work over the next Christmas and summer vacations. It was during such a summer vacation period that I met the young woman who was to become my wife. But we are getting ahead of ourselves, which is anatomically odd.

I learned, too, that graduate students are cheap labor, thus likely to be exploited. When my M.S. thesis advisor wanted even more work done before signing off, I appealed to the physics department chairman, who said, in essence: “Hold. Enough.” A few years later, at Harvard, I had a somewhat similar showdown with my doctoral thesis advisor; and I gave him the ultimatum that I would be leaving at the end of the year, regardless. He relented. Three solid technical papers resulted from that dissertation.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely,” wrote Lord Acton, probably without the teacher-student relationship in mind.

Of the three colleges I attended, Cornell, Penn State, and Harvard, I liked Penn State the best. The people seemed nicest, least pretentious, the setting very pretty. I lived a couple of miles off campus and had a car, but I often took my bicycle back and forth, first to work, later to school. There was not a lot of traffic then.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


Published at

“You ought to write a book” Tina Su Cooper, my wife, and I were told many times. Our love story, of nearly fifty years of being in love, though separated for nineteen of them, has recently given birth to our book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion. It is an upbeat story of triumph over prejudice, separation, and life-changing, life-threatening illness. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society magazine, Momentum, has scheduled our article, “Undefeated,” about Tina, for its winter 2011 issue. She is an Asian American heroine. Tina’s primary physician, Dr. Richard Walker, told us “your memoir is an antidote to the news,” emphasizing love and loyalty in marriage.

Half of the Asian American readers of are likely to marry someone of another race, if past is prologue. Despite some parental disapproval when we were much younger, and perhaps our occasionally missing out on friendships that never developed, we have not found being of different races to be a barrier to marital success. We think that others will be encouraged by our story to do as we did, to commit themselves, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.”

Our book has been summarized as follows:

“Tina Su and Doug Cooper met in a Chinese class at Cornell University in 1963. They fell in love, later married and lived happily ever after.

“Actually, it was not quite that simple. With both sets of parents opposing an interracial marriage, the couple separated and did not reunite for nineteen years. Meanwhile, Tina went off to grad school at Harvard, married a scientist from China, edited for the Encyclopedia Britannica, had two sons, and felt trapped in a difficult marriage. Doug was drafted into the army and afterward earned his master's in physics from Penn State and a Ph.D. in engineering from Harvard. His first marriage (to a Caucasian woman who resembled Tina) failed.

“Eventually Doug contacted Tina, and the two declared their love. Interracial issues were no longer a problem; but her multiple sclerosis, with its likelihood of increasing disability, would cast a shadow on their prospects. Tina--with great difficulty and pain--left her marriage.

“Now together for more than twenty-five years, Tina and Doug have learned that while love may not conquer all, it has been crucial in successfully meeting the challenges of Tina's progressive immobility, and recently her quadriplegia and near death from an MS-caused pneumonia.

“More than a love story, this wry memoir has reflections on love and marriage, faith, professional ethics, at-home intensive nursing care, medical insurance, finances, and the exceptional character of a brave woman, written by the man who loves her, with tributes from those who admire her.”

Tina Su (“Su Ting-ting” at birth) and I have learned that love does conquer, that two can be stronger than one, that foresight and preparation can help in over-coming life’s challenges, that life --- even with severe handicaps --- is precious.

I wrote the book because Tina asked me to. She has been so brave throughout even this most difficult phase of our lives that she deserves to be celebrated in print. I wrote it in the spring of 2011, then augmented it with tributes and recollections concerning Tina from family, friends, and our nursing staff. It was published in September 2011, by Outskirts Press, now available from and other Internet book sellers.

Of relevance to the readers of, I would add that I believe something in Tina’s Chinese American background --- whether genetic, cultural, or familial --- has helped her persevere in being a cheerful and loving wife, mother, and friend, despite being bedridden for sixteen years, quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent for the last seven, several times near death. She is our heroine, our inspiration, our beloved Ting.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a writer, caregiver, retired physicist. Ting and I is available in paperback and ebook formats from,,, and

Saturday, November 5, 2011


There are times when the patient’s family should be assertive.

Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.


She awoke from the medically induced coma quadriplegic, with an air supply line passing over her lips and into her throat. She could not speak, nor move anything below her neck. My wife, Tina Su Cooper, was near death from pneumonia caused by food aspiration due to a severe multiple sclerosis attack, an MS “exacerbation.” I was desperate to help her, but aware that I was not a physician, just a retired physicist, whose opinions on the proper care for his wife might be met with skepticism or even hostility by the doctors and nurses.

My first task was to make clear that all possible steps should be taken to save Tina’s life. The ambulance had gotten to the hospital ahead of me. Tina told the receiving medical staff that she did not want invasive treatment, including tubes down her throat. When I arrived, twenty minutes later, I countermanded that. I have her power of attorney, because about half of MS patients have cognitive deficits due to the disease, and Tina is in that half. Sometimes she shows the intellect that carried her to honors at Cornell and Harvard and to the editorial staff of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Sometimes she falls short of that. This was no time for fuzzy thinking. Save her life … if possible.

My next goal was to reassure her. We had already handled twenty years of marriage during the last ten years of which Tina was bedridden. I believed we could handle quadriplegia, too, as long as neither of us gave up. I needn’t have worried. Her father had often told her, in her youth, to “be a brave soldier,” and she was all of that. When I asked her whether she agreed with my decision to go all out to save her life, she nodded, twice: yes, yes. When they wanted to classify her as “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR), we said, “No, no.”

We had already been using a nurse part-time at home, and I had this nurse, Terry Bush, LPN, stay with Tina in the Critical Care Unit in the mornings. Terry was to do as little or as much as the hospital staff allowed. Her primary goal was to communicate for Tina, whom she had come to love. A secondary goal was to be there, to observe, to report to me, to insure by her presence that care was given and given properly. Not everyone can afford to do this, I know, but it was worth it to us. I was there for the afternoons, to do much the same things.

I learned as much as I could about what was needed and about what was being done. The doctor most important to her survival was her intensivist - pulmonologist, Richard F. Walker, MD, F.C.C.P., with whom we bonded. In the book I have just finished, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, Dr. Walker has contributed the Forward, from which I quote a portion:

“As I have been accorded in the book a disproportionate credit for Tina’s survival, I must state that our ultimate success resulted from the efforts of the entire health-care team and, in no small measure, the efforts of Doug and Tina themselves….”

“Doug tirelessly directed the attention of the health care team to seemingly trivial aspects of her care, asking detailed questions and demanding satisfactory answers, even occasionally suggesting changes in her care plan. My periodic annoyance, hopefully not always apparent, served to refocus my attention away from the pathophysiology and back to Tina. What I did not initially realize was that Doug’s persistence was improving his wife’s care….”

“Doug dedicates this book to Tina, his ‘good soldier,’ but in a larger sense, the story is also a tribute to his powerful advocacy for her survival. I believe their love saved them both….”
"My participation in Tina’s care made me a better physician and provided me with one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career.”


Tina and I have shared seven more years of precious life together since then.

Someone must speak up when the patient cannot.