Dr. Bruno Cortis

“I Don’t Listen Well,” He Said, Part I of III

“I Don’t Listen Well,” He Said, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

When the medical specialist stood over my mother’s ICU bed and said, “I don’t listen well,” I was sure he was joking.

My mother was admitted into the hospital via ER. We thought it was a virus or food poisoning.

Soon, she was in intensive care.

Mom spent nine days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas day, in ICU.

The seven doctors I met had fill-ins for Christmas holidays.
Some physicians had fill-ins for the fill-ins.

Yes, then we shifted back to fill-ins, and then back to the original doctors, Monday, December 27th, 2010, as each read the chart.

Many physicians and professionals shared details with me about specific windows of time each had to visit their family – or two families (their words).

I believe the holiday season, and watching me sit alone, shifted people as they “blew through” (their term) to ‘round’ my very sick mother.

A few whispered to me, “There but for the grace of God go I at my parent’s bedside.”

I nodded each time, listened, honored with their sharings.

Individuals privately discussed that they were driving distances to open gifts with loved ones with whom they no longer live.

As I listened, their eyes filled with tears.
Then each regained composure and continued ‘rounding’ of patients.

The physician I am writing about is a distinguished specialist with multiple letters after his name.

We liked this man immediately when he entered our small room (a unit) with a large smile.

Squeezed into an ICU spot, Dad had just described a CD series as “fascinating” and handed it to me with a simple, “Here you go.”

The physician’s interest was piqued; he asked about the CDs.

“The Buried Book, The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh” by David Damrosch (unabridged) details “Gilgamesh himself at the dawn of recorded history,” from tablets lost in Mesopotamia.

The physician knew (a lot) about Gilgamesh.
He and my father began a spirited, factual, historical discussion ripe with proper nouns and dates.

Mom beamed in her bed.

Mom, Dad and the doctor had just discussed facts surrounding her grandfather’s, Adolphus Floyd, Civil War capture and two-time imprisonment (P.O.W.) for the south.

(I was pleasantly surprised that Mom was able to formulate the accurate facts and words – as she sick as she was.)

I stood at the foot of the bed and smiled.
It was so good to see bright spirits shine.

The nurse working one of many machines at bedside stopped to tip her head and listen, her back turned to us. I watched her, too.

Court reporters notice that, yes?

I had the Gilgamesh CD collection in my right hand.

Due to the doctor’s fascination and complete unabashed enthusiasm I asked softly, “Would you like to see the epic?”

The doctor quickly tucked his equipment around his neck and reached to my hand saying, “Yes! I don’t listen well.”

I paused before I softly teased about his work and why he was in the room – working in realtime.

Sincerely, he said, “Really. I score in the top percentile of the country for skills. Yet I don’t listen well. I need to see it.”

Dad said, “She’s a court reporter. You may want to watch your words. She remembers everything and can repeat your words back to you.”

The doctor said, “No, really. It’s true.”

I shared that he might be a profile for my next article saying, “I’m always trolling. Your ‘listening’ would be great for my court reporting column.”

Dad and Mom looked the best I had seen in a while. Everyone laughed, and all was right for a moment in our world.

The next day, the physician strolled into ICU and said, “I shouldn’t have said that to you, but it’s true.”

He re-introduced and expanded the conversation.

That’s when I said, “Now you are so the topic for my next column.”

Court reporters listen. We listen precisely.

We listen while thinking about our lists, working and tasking – all in realtime.
Others I’m learning? Not as much.

Christmas and then New Year’s became my quest to “listen” to their listening. People have (seriously explained to me) territories.

One could not simply step on another’s toes. (Excuse me?)

Many medical moments required instant decisions from family members with professionals, and then another specialist would enter and have a different request, set of facts, or “they can’t do that!” (Oh, yes, they did.)

One physician said, “I want to put them all in the same room and have them duke it out together.”

Dad reminded that doctor that I remember words.

The doctor said, “Good! I’m trying to help your mother! And save her life!” with two fists in the air.

I sat at the edge of the hard, uncomfortable chair, eyes and ears open.

I worked to avoid looking stunned (the court reporter look we know well).

Individuals wearing white coats and specialists wearing polo shirts appeared surprised that I listened at Mom’s bedside, then asked a brief question following a four-minute explanation.

This is what we do. We listen. We listen. Then we listen.

Part II of III is posted April 19, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted April 26, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal

Tutor, Motivational Management & Empowerment Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.

Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students, and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day.

07 Apr 2011

"All Heart And Soul" Dr. Bruno Cortis, Healing Heart Disease, and Gandhi

All Heart And Soul; Dr. Bruno Cortis, Healing Heart Disease, and Gandhi
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

My alarm rang at 4:30 a.m.; too soon I stood within the San Antonio airport.

I traveled all day, changing planes after a lengthy layover. Walking to the luggage carousel, I first spotted the well-dressed man, wearing a light cream-colored suit. He did not appear to be tired, hot, or stressed like everyone else.

My black sweater was tied around my waist, my sleeves rolled up, and I wore my black hat. I did not look comfortable or relaxed like this gentleman. I retrieved my luggage, headed to the hotel shuttle. Sternly, I was instructed to “stand over there.”

Then I was led outside, to wait under the hot sun while I inhaled exhaust fumes. Perched on the small cement island, each person hovered protectively near his or her luggage as cars, vans, and buses sped past.

No hat, no sweat and smiling, this man, wearing a beige suit, calmly observed the world around him. I thought, “He looks like a modern-day Gandhi. And he looks happy.”

He was the only person not sweating and not frowning. I climbed into the ‘very warm’ shuttle. I politely nodded and smiled as he passed my seat.

I dragged my luggage into the hotel; stood on one of many lines. I scanned lobby.  Yes, with many lines at the front desk, he was on the same line… this gentleman stood two people behind me. I smiled; he nodded, smiled. Again, I thought of Gandhi observing his posture and dignity.

As I departed the counter, I looked at him, tilted my head while I tipped the brim of my hat.

He slowly bowed saying, “I really am not following you. I hope you have a pleasant stay.”

I smiled and hurried to follow the bellman, five steps ahead of me, who was briskly pushing my luggage.

The next day this gentleman, wearing a light gray suit, flew past me. Seeing me, he stopped (on a dime), smiled and bowed dramatically; then off he went.

Later, I attended a seminar and went to the back of the room to “fetch me some” water.  Alone, I leaned against the wall, one foot perched on the wall, I sipped a glass of cold water.

Then I saw the gentleman from inside the room; he stood and walked towards me to “fetch him” a glass of water.

I looked into his eyes, calmly saying, “Okay, enough.”

I extended my hand introducing myself. He slowly repeated my name a few times and said, “Bruno Cortis.” He handed me his card which said, “Bruno Cortis, M.C., F.A.C.C., Cardiologist, Author, Speaker.”

I softly teased, “I thought your card might say ‘Modern-Day Gandhi’ because of your suit and the way you appear to look directly into people’s souls.” Bruno laughed. He explained his accent; he was born and raised in Italy. He shared about his mother – how wonderful she was, her cooking, health, his family, and how he came to this country. He shared he had written two books. I listened, sipping water.

Then Bruno asked, “May I send you a copy of my books? They detail how to prevent and heal heart disease.”

I replied, “I would be honored.”

The speaker began. I asked Bruno if he would like to sit with me.

He said, “As a court reporter you will take excellent notes. My English is slower than my Italian. I would love to sit with you!” He ran up to his chair, retrieved his material and sprinted back to my chair.

During the seminar I leaned over and whispered, “I saw you in the airport yesterday. You stood out in your beige-cream suit, not looking hot or stressed.”

He smiled, “I saw you, too, wearing your hat.” We giggled. I took notes; he copied what I shared. Together we focused on our seminar.

After the seminar, Bruno spoke to me about food, health, and the spirit. He was passionate and centered; I was charmed by this gentleman.

When two books arrived at my office on Valentine’s Day, one book was inscribed “To Monette, Creative Spirit …” The second book also had a personal inscription.

What blew me away was his credentials and the people who endorsed his books – none of which he mentioned while we spoke.

Dr. Bruno Cortis is a Diplomat and fellow of the American Board of Cardiology. He trained at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

The cover flap of Heart and Soul reads “Bruno Cortis, M.D., F.A.C.C., is a board-certified internist and practicing cardiologist and a pioneer in angioplasty and laser applications. A native of Italy, Dr. Cortis now lives and works in the Chicago area.”

“He is the author of the best-selling Heart and Soul: A Psychological and Spiritual Guide to Preventing and Healing Heart Disease and over seventy-five published articles. Dr. Cortis has been interviewed on the Phil Donahue Show and shows across the U.S. and Canada and has spoken to audiences on five continents.”

The cover has a prominent endorsement by Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Spiritual Heart, Meditations for Health and Happiness has an endorsement by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

The inside flap shares, “Dr. Cortis believes the spiritual power of healing is as real and important as medication and surgery. Dr. Cortis teaches all of us how to preserve the quality of life by exploring spiritual benefits that ground our lives and give us meaning and purpose, as well as peace and comfort. This book has essays, exercises, and meditations. Dr. Cortis leads readers on a reflective journey that will help all of us enjoy happier, healthier lives.”

The back flap continues, “Dr. Cortis is the Founder of the Exceptional Heart Patient Program, an organization dedicated to the prevention and healing of heart disease. He is also the CEO of Mind Your Health, a health strategy and management consulting firm.”

His resume states: “In addition to pioneering research in angioscopy and laser angioplasty, Dr. Cortis has done in-depth interviews of heart transplant recipients and has learned how their persona could be influenced by the donor. His mission is to promote wellness and spiritual values for successful living. Dr. Cortis reaches into the heart and mind. He inspires people to create true change.”

I read his personal inscriptions on the books, his bio, and his busy public speaking schedule around the United States.

I immediately phoned Bruno, my friend. He took my call.

I remember saying, “Hmmm, you did not share details of your work or your books.”

He laughed, “Monette, I want you to have my books. I planned them to arrive today – Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you will learn from them and help others. This is my reason for sharing.”

As I prepped this article, I wrote Bruno. I was not sure if he would remember me (because of his work and public speaking schedule). I asked for an update. Bruno replied, “I remember … The AHA statistics report 2,600 cardiovascular deaths per day, one million two hundred heart attacks per year, 700,000 new infarcts (heart attacks), 500,000 recurrent ones.”

Dr. Bruno Cortis has a wonderful web site, http://www.brunocortis.com/.

He has written many articles, including “On-site Emergency Strategies for Heart Attack,” “Talk Yourself Out of Stress,” “Find Your Inner Strength,” “Exceptional Heart Patients Do Not Always Obey Doctor’s Orders,” “Win With Your Heart Intelligence,” and “Your Heart is a Spiritual Organ.”

Each day is a blessing – even days involving lengthy travel, perhaps.

Here, I desire to share Bruno’s talents, unique spirit, wisdom, humor, and to me, Gandhi-like qualities.

Heart disease can be cured and prevented, according to Dr. Cortis. I believe we all know people who will benefit from his spiritual writings, documented healings.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you from my heart to your soul.

““““““`Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

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About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has helped to create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.

Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.



14 Feb 2008