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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | June 2008 

Gossip Flies Off the Tropical Drums
email this pageprint this pageemail usLen - PVNN

A rally on Olas Altas turned the streets of Puerto Vallarta red on Friday, February 15, 2008 when over 120 people dressed in red gathered in front of salon blu by Len for Vallarta Women's Heart Appreciation Day.
The last few weeks have been an amazing time of learning and growth for me. As many of you know I have been "out of town" for the last three weeks on personal business. In Puerto Vallarta this usually translates into something like: "We hear she's not well," or worse, "well, to tell the truth..." The truth, of course, being as far away from reality as flip flops are from high heels.

While out of town I always try to keep up with the goings on in Puerto Vallarta. The summer news gets a little repetitive, the people are a little more edgy and the heat usually is enough to send everyone over the nearest cliff.

This year you have no excuse due to the weather, as I believe this is the most amazing June on record. The Bay of Banderas is glorious, the sun is out, we are all alive and enjoying whatever it is that we have chosen to celebrate. What a great existence.

So why the "jungle drums of gossip and innuendo"? I guess it's true what they say: "It is easier for most folks to say something untrue and shocking than to praise and celebrate anything."

Seeing how none of the print publications in this town have a "Page 6," this column is going to be my very own version of the famed New York Post scandal page. It's about time that this town started reading about the gossip, instead of spreading it around like manure. And who better to start with than the famed and fierce stylist to the stars, me. So here goes the truth:

1. Yes, I have been out of town for some time.
2. Yes, I was hospitalized both here in Vallarta and also in Atlanta, Georgia.
3. Yes, I had to take some serious time, after the hospital, to recuperate in Atlanta before flying home.
4. Yes, I have taken time here in Vallarta to recuperate some more before my return to the salon.
5. And finally, Yes, I am back in the salon and ready for action.
6. And one more thing: No, I did not disappear for a face lift!

Here's what happened and where I am headed from here. By the way, a little humor over some serious subjects is in order. And who better to poke fun at me than, well, me?

"If you can get him on a plane back to the States today, do it. Do it now. He could be too sick to fly by tomorrow."

That was the statement made to my amazing life partner, Larry, on May 30th by the wonderful Dr. Rios, who had seen me on special second opinion consult. After two days and nights in a PV hospital, on IV drugs, with no improvement, both he and I and our brilliant GP in Atlanta, Dr. David Morris, agreed it was time to treat this as a more serious health issue than had previously been deemed necessary. All I knew was that having an elephant sitting on my chest would probably be more comfortable than how I was feeling at the time.

I was flown out, 4 hours later, on an emergency flight to Atlanta, where I was admitted immediately into Piedmont Hospital in the middle of the night. After using some serious high-powered drugs to start clearing up the pneumonia, morphine to eliminate pain became our friend. The next morning, they set out to discover how and why such a young, vibrant and exceptionally fit young man could come down with such a severe case of double pneumonia in such a short time.

Did I mention the fact that David Morris, MD, is a genius? David is one of those doctors who still loves what he does. He loves making people well, just like I love making people pretty. He called in pulmonary and cardiology specialists to discover all that could possibly be wrong. They sort of looked at him like he had lost his mind, but instinctively he knew there was something else at the root of all this. Well, what they found was nothing short of amazing, scary and life altering.

They discovered that this young, vibrant and incredibly funny young man suffered from Congestive Heart Failure, or Cardiomyopathy. It basically means that one side of the heart (the left that pumps blood back to the lungs, in my case) is not working up to its full capacity and hasn't been for quite some time.

Ironic, isn't it? Not four short months ago I was in NYC participating in the American Heart Association's "Go Red Campaign" as make-up artist and stylist, encouraging women to pay attention to their hearts. Followed shortly by our own "Come Out in Red" women's heart health awareness campaign here in Vallarta.

Do any of you remember that cut out of a red dress hanging over the entrance to blu during the rally? Well, Girls and Boys, the dress fits! Here I am with a serious heart condition myself. Sometimes the goddess has a funny way of waking us up. Banging my head against the wall repeatedly does not seem to work.

So, where does this leave us? Well, it brings me to a wonderful announcement about Vallarta and Atlanta. Both Larry and I need to have a small place in both of our favorite places on earth, so we can go back and forth as often as necessary for medical reasons. Thus, our decision to downsize here first and then find smaller places in both cities. So there you have another big announcement without the gossip, just the truth. This "Page 6" stuff is fun. Stamp out gossip? Get serious; my best friend's mama's sister's hairdresser's cousin wouldn't like that one bit.

Finally, there are two very important people who need my public thanks. Dr. David Morris, your continued passion to your field is awe inspiring, and once again you have saved another soul with your ability to listen, to use intuition coupled with science and to laugh. And to Larry. I thank you for saving my life one more time. "Ever Thine, Ever Mine, Ever Ours," just you and me.

To say that I am back is probably the understatement of the year. As I write this, I am going stir crazy having not done a head of hair in more than three weeks. By the time you read it, I'll be back to the business of making people pretty... and telling them when they aren't. What's the point of using my head, if I can't have a little fun in the process?

And, by the way, use your head and have your heart checked... whether you think you need it or not. See you at blu!
Given that Len's very first word was "more," and the second one was "pretty" it is no wonder that he now not only owns and runs the #1 salon and spa in Puerto Vallarta, blu by Len, but also writes a bi-weekly beauty column, "Use Your Head." Whatever you hair may or may not need, Len will know exactly what to do or where to go to find the answer - just send him an email at len(at)

Click HERE for more articles by Len.

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