Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dr. Brueck's Final Entry in his Siberian Diary

This is the 14th and final entry in Dr. Brueck's diary of his 2008 medical mission to Siberia.

July 10th 2008

Today, we went to a village that was Ludmilla's birth village. It was a short drive down the road from where were staying and it was a pretty drive through the country side with the rolling hills.

When we arrived, there was a gentleman with his family on a wooden wagon. They were exchanging Russian pleasantries so he gave us a ride on the wagon before we started seeing patients.

Apparently he and his family heard about the doctor coming and decided to travel by wagon several miles to come to the village. What is interesting is that Wolfgang had called Ludmilla's cousins the night before around 10 o’clock to tell them we were coming and from about 10 o’clock to the next day the word spread like wild fire.

We started a little late that day, it was about 10:30 and it was like Grand Central Station. People were sitting outside to see the doctor. It was so heartwarming that people would travel great distances and wait to see the doctor.

We got backed up but were able to get through it and then it was time for lunch. As lunch time approached, there were still several people waiting to be seen and I said I didn’t mind seeing the people and taking care of them but our hostess said we were going to have lunch and they could wait.

We had lunch and then finished up around 5:30. We had a wonderful prayer session that night and exchanged stories and Wolfgang was very happy with what we were able to accomplish. The fact that we came and, he said he heard many comments that the doctor took his time and explained the conditions to the people, this is something they are not used to.

They were impressed that we had come half-way around the world to share the gospel with them and to share our love and faith with them as well. He said this certainly will give the Christian faith a lot of credibility as he continues his mission work after we leave.

From what I understand, there will be another team coming in September to further what we were able to accomplish in these few weeks here. It was a great experience and we went to bed around 11:30 or 12:00.

We are going to leave early in the morning around 6:00 to begin the long journey back to Abacon to fly back to Moscow.


This concludes Dr. Brueck's journal entries, made on the ground in Russia, about his experiences as a visiting doctor in July, 2008 in the remote villages of Siberia.

If you have found this to be an interesting read, we would welcome your comments. Thank you.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dr. Brueck's 13th Siberian Diary Day

This is Dr. Bruecks 13th daily entry in his Siberian diary.

July 9th 2008

Today we are going to Veraskisi. It is about 60 to 70 kilometers from Tashtyp. The village is like all of the rest with the blue windows. Somehow construction was unusual and I could never find out why all of the windows are blue, Wolfgang thinks they are blue because it is the cheapest pane.

Today, in this village, it was pediatric clinic day. I saw so many children and they were so sweet and I got so many pictures of them.

I had a break in the day and there was a television in the room and I was curious about the reception and this was satellite TV, so Masha and I turned it on and there were 5 channels and 4 of them had the same program on, so much for Russian cable TV.

We finished the day, had dinner and went to bed about 11pm.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dr. Brueck's 12th Siberian Diary Day

This the 12th daily entry in Dr. Brueck's Siberian trip.

July 8th 2008

We spent another day at Ludmilla's house; her husband who was short with silver teeth in his mouth came up and started to talk to me in German. As it turns out he was a tour guide for Germans coming to Siberia. It was kind of refreshing and nice to talk to him in German and we shared some stories. It was really enjoyable. It was a common ground and it was nice.

The second day was quite busy, we probably saw twice as many people and it was nonstop. As I was sitting there towards the lunch hour I started to smell this aroma in the air and I wasn’t quite sure what it was and it wasn’t appealing to me but told Masha who was working with me as a translator that I had to go to the bathroom, so I went through the kitchen and out to the outhouse.

As I passed the kitchen I was looking at the stove and there was an iron cast skillet on it with 3 little tiny fish in it, heads, eyes, tails and all. Needless to say this did not appeal to me for the lunch hour. I later talked to Stacy and apparently these fish were caught in the Tashtyp River and had been sitting out for a couple of days and Ludmilla thought it was time to cook them.

Needless to say I came up with an excuse and I don’t remember what it was but I ate some bread and had some coffee. I got back to the hotel that night around 6:15 or so and we were supposed to have Ludmilla's son Sergai come over. Grisha said he would stay at the hotel and wait for him and I went on to Wolfgang's for dinner.

Apparently things changed and Sergai came to the house to speak with me. Sergai is Ludmilla's youngest son. He is 32 and is an alcoholic. We talked for about an hour and 15 minutes and I tried to reason with him and give him hope and we prayed.

Apparently he was in the Russian army during the Georgian/Chechnian war and apparently it was quite common for the soldiers to drink till the point of oblivion. He worked in the city government in Tashtyp and worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off so he would drink.

After speaking with Sergai, the older son, Andres came in to speak with me, he was 37 and had a job working in the government as well; he was married and had a 12 year old daughter.

Apparently something traumatic happened to him when he was a young man and he would not speak to anybody but in talking with him I was able to find out that something terrible happened to him between the ages of 10 and 18 and even though he never fessed up to me what it was I suspect that he may have been abused as a young boy.

We had a very thought provoking session and tears were shared and hugs were shared and we concluded with some prayers.

At this point in time it was about 10:15 and as I went downstairs from the study. Judit asked if I wanted dinner and I told her I was just too tired and emotionally exhausted so I walked back to the hotel to try and go to bed.

The next day I found out that after I had left Ludmilla, her sons, Wolfgang and the daughter-in-law all went back to Andres’ house and they had a wonderful session and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior so it was a heartfelt wonderful day and ended very happily.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dr. Brueck's 11th Siberian Diary Day

This is the 11th daily diary entry from Dr. Brueck's medical mission in Siberia.

July 7th 2008

Today, we were going to go to Ludmilla's house. She was the key contact person in Tashtyp and we were going to see patients in her home, so we didn’t have a far journey to get to her home.

We worked hard all day seeing people with different complaints; we worked all the way through until about 6 o’clock. After that everybody was tired including me and we went back to Wolfgang's house, and Grisha and I walked back to our “hotel”.

We cleaned up and then made our way back to Wolfgang's house for dinner. By the time we had finished dinner and gotten back to our hotel it was about 9 or 9:30.

It was difficult for me to try and fall asleep because it was still daylight out and I tossed and turned.

It was hard for me to keep track of the days because one day seemed to blend into the next with little sleep, no sleep, etc.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Which Cosmetic Surgery Procedure is most popular?

This blog message was created some weeks ago but was not uploaded then. Since information still is interesting, we are publishing it now.


The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery just released their annual multi-specialty procedural report for 2007.

They state that 11.7 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the US in 2007.

Of these nearly 12 million procedures, the vast majority were Botox cosmetic injections.

The most popular surgical procedure was liposuction.

For women, the number one cosmetic surgery procedure was breast augmentation. More than 10,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2007 compared to 2006. 399,440 breast augmentations were performed in 2007.

Part of the increase is due to the reintroduction of silicone gel implants.

The other day, I saw and scheduled 6 breast augmentation patients – 5 were silicone gel and one was saline.

Why don't you call me or my aesthetic coordinator, Judy Denison, and arrange a consultation appointment for yourself? There’s no obligation and no cost for your first consultation.

Or visit our web site at and navigate to the procedure that you are interested in. You'll find lots of helpful information and even some "before-and-after photographs" to help you make your decision.

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Dr. Brueck, Fort Myers Plastic surgeon in Siberia - Day 10

This is the tenth entry in Dr. Brueck's diary about his medical mission to Siberia.

July 6th 2008

We got up early and as usual we went over to Wolfgang and Judit's house to have breakfast before we began our trek to Abazar. This is a church that Wolfgang and his family attend which is about 50 kilometers away.

Judit and Phil stayed behind because the van couldn’t hold all of us. The drive to Abazar is further south from Tustip towards the Mongolian border and as we drove we could see the snow covered peaks in the distance. The further south you go into Siberia the more mountainous the terrain becomes.

As we approached the town we could see the lumber mill and a small steel mill. It was a typical Siberian village, square wooden houses with blue windows and fences around them protecting the gardens.

The thing that was strange was a huge mountain of what looked like iron ore or coal and in talking to Wolfgang he said it was “radio active”. He said the government did not know what to do with it; the pile was huge and sort of rimmed around the town.

We drove past this onto the main road of the town and arrived at the church. The church was packed; it was a small church with wooden benches and a very rudimentary sound system. Before we went into the chapel it was custom that we took our shoes off and went in either with slippers or bare feet. Needless to say it was kind of hot because I was sitting next to the window and it was a very sunny day, the room rapidly became very warm.

The music came from a simple sound system and was quite good. A few introductory remarks were made and then we got up and started to sing a song. We stood for the first song and then the second song and after the seventh song I was praying for relief and finally we were able to sit down.

They also spent a few minutes recognizing our medical team and I actually got up to speak in front of the congregation, it was quite an experience and quite enjoyable.

We also saw a guest preacher that day who was a Russian pastor who was born in that area but had moved to Seattle, Washington. After the service I had a chance to talk to him and he was telling me that there is a large Russian settlement in Seattle and that he preaches in Russian to these people. In any event he said there were about 200,000 Russians that had settled in the Seattle area.

When he began to speak it was in Russian and needless to say I didn’t quite understand what was going on. The only thing I did understand was that my body was getting warmer and my forehead was sweating profusely as each minute went by. The sermon lasted 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, then an hour, then an hour and 15 minutes and when all was said and done the whole service was perhaps around 2 hours and 15 minutes.

By this time I could hardly wait to get up and get outside for some fresh air. I got up and immediately went to the back room to find my shoes and go outside. As I was sitting outside I was leaning up against an old beat up Volvo and Grisha came out and told me I shouldn’t lean up against the car because in Russia they don’t do that.

With that we started talking and then Elania who was our team leader came out and asked me if there was any way I could see a young man whose mother had gone to the service that day and I responded by telling her I was there to help and to serve and I would be more than happy to go down there.

So we got in the van, Wolfgang, Elania, the lady and I and we went to the house which was a few blocks down the road and as we walked through the wooden gate towards the house there was the usual boards on the dirt and the mud and the various assortments of excrement that were placed around the barnyard.

As we approached the house I saw this enormous padlock that was the size of a fist and as the mother approached she had this big key and unlocked it. Elania had warned me not to be overly alarmed by what I would see and I told her nothing would surprise me at this point.

As we walked through the door there was a little foyer entry way that was maybe 4 to 5 feet wide and very dark. There was a door going into the house and as we walked in, the door suddenly opened and there was this gentleman who was quite shocking to say the least, he was like a character out of a Steven King novel, and this was her son.

He had not shaved, showered or changed his clothes in over 6 months. Obviously the odor was quite obvious and he was frightening and if you had walked around the corner of a dark and deserted street you certainly would scream and run as fast as you could.

We were able to coax him outside and Elania tried to talk to him in Russian and there wasn’t much I could say in Russian so I spoke in English maybe hoping he had some hidden knowledge of English but to no avail.

We walked around the garden and he was obviously having a deep psychotic reaction. He had repetitive motions and after many minutes we were able to get him to sit down on a little stool and his mother got the clippers and we were able to shave his head and his beard. He had body lice and Elania and I were able to get his jacket off and his clothes and we then scrubbed him down and washed him.

At that point in time the mother asked what I thought and I told her he really needs to go into Abacon to see a psychiatrist and be hospitalized for a chronic psychotic reaction. Hopefully, with medications he would at least be communicative where one could perform therapy on him.

It was really sad, apparently he was fine 7 or 8 months ago and was professing his Christian faith and was happy and well adjusted, talking and mingling and then a cult member of the community got a hold of him. He was a member of a satanic cult and since then he has been reclusive and sort of possessed by the devil.

In talking to Wolfgang the issue of an exorcism was brought up as a possible way to deal with this. It certainly was sad and very bizarre and unusual but I recommended she take him to see a psychiatrist in order to receive intensive psychotherapy.

By the time we got back we cleaned up a little bit and all went down to the river to have a Russian style bar-b-q, we had a little fire on the side of the river that we built with some twigs and branches and bar-b-q’d some kabobs. The bar-b-q was nice, we had some coleslaw, cabbage salad, however I did not swim in the river, it was cold and I wasn’t quite sure how “clean” the river was.

We started to play a little badminton just hitting the shuttle back and forth and then about 8 or 8:30 the rain started to come so I got on the bike that Yudit had driven down and went back to the house where I met them.

Grisha and I then went back to our place.

Entry #11 will be offered tomorrow

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Dr. Brueck's mission in Siberai - Day 9

This the ninth day in Dr. Brueck's Siberian medical mission.

July 5th 2008

We had our usual morning breakfast and bible study and singing.

Once again we were off to the village of Butrakhty and once again we saw many, many people, we saw more people than I could have ever imagined. We had a late lunch and then it started to rain. By the time we got back we had dinner. Grisha and I went back to the room and had our evening cocktail of Coca-Cola light.

I would always tease the girls that were staying at Wolfgang's house that we were staying in a hotel that was thirty stories high and we had the penthouse suite. It was far from it but it was fun to joke about our situation and circumstances, it helped make light of the situation.

In any event we got to bed and opened the window only to be hit with the cacophony of barn yard animals doing the usual serenade.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dr. Brueck's 8th Siberian Diary Day

This is the 8th daily entry in Dr. Brueck's diary from his medical mssion to Siberia.

July 4th 2008

Today is Mitah’s birthday and he is 12 years old, we all blew up balloons and wrote up a nice little birthday wish on it and strung it up in the living room on a string.

After breakfast we had our morning prayer, bible reading, sung a few songs and we were off to the village of Butrakhty. As we were going to the village we had a road block and had to wait for several cows to cross.

What is interesting is that there are no fences for any of the animals; they are free to roam wherever they want, whenever they want. Not only are the cows free to roam but the pigs, ducks, goats, cats, dogs and yes even the badgers are allowed to roam.

We saw many people that day and it seems that arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and alcoholism are at the top of the list. I got somewhat frustrated since we only had a handful of medications to hand out to people. The medicines we had were over the counter since I had not received a license I had to be careful that I didn’t practice medicine.

In fact the FSB, which used to be the KGB, came by while we were in Butrakhty to make sure we weren’t doing anything “illegal”. The health care system in Russia is nothing like the states. Several times today the people couldn’t afford to buy the medicine so they go without. It is not a socialized system and they do not receive free health care. There are definitely many cracks in the healthcare system.

Even some of our Russian translators don’t know much about the system.Maybe we can send in Michael Moore so he can reform the system. I am sure he would give the Russian health care system a high rating, after all Michael Moore is the guru when it comes to health care systems and he knows what is best.

We finished around 6 o’clock and went back to Wolfgang's and Judit's home for dinner. While dinner was being made some of us hit a volleyball in the backyard that Mitah had gotten for his birthday. After dinner we were all going to sit down, settle in and watch a movie in Russian about a missionary.

Needless to say it did not seem like an inviting opportunity for the Bru. The movie would start around 9:30 which was on my time-table a little late. So I quietly excused myself and when I excused myself Grisha decided he would go as well so the two of us went to the store in town and bought a bottle of Coca-cola light.

We were going to go back and celebrate our new found treasure. It was like a glass of fine wine and a great way to end a very tiring day.

Once again I was going to be banished to the sofa to begin my sojourn to the wee hours of the morning.

Entry nine will be presented tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dr. Brueck, plastic surgeon in Russia - Day Seven

This is Dr. Brueck's seventh diary entry while on medical mission in Siberia.

July 3rd 2008

This will be our last day in Imek, tomorrow we will go to the village of Butrakhty, and this village was 100% Kakass.

Our job will be tougher since these people do not believe in Jesus or the Lord but we feel good and through our prayers we know God will open the doors.

We saw many more people and probably assisted 35 to 40 people. It was exciting and thrilling to share the needs of the people and try and help them with their medical conditions and at the same time spread the gospel.

One of the things that we were very, very fortunate to have were instruction sheets dealing with about 30 different conditions that we came in contact with. So when I would see someone with hypertension I would give them copies of the sheets so they could understand their medical condition.

Interestingly enough the Russian doctors tell their patients nothing about their conditions, what kind of treatment they need, etc. They just give them some medication and tell them to take it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dr. Brueck's Siberian Diary - Day Six

This is day six from Dr. Brueck' s Siberian diary.

July 2nd 2008

We got up and I dabbled in the shower ever so gingerly, trying to avoid the cold drops of water as they fell on my body in the bath tub. After cleaning up and shaving in cold water we meandered over to Wolfgang’s house where we gathered for Morning Prayer, breakfast and a little briefing.

Today we were going to be traveling to a small village called Imek, Wolfgang told us that a woman in the village was bringing people to us. We prayed that people would come and listen to us but we also knew they may be afraid of the strangers that invaded the small village.

The day before I was walking back to my sleeping quarters and I passed 2 women and being my jovial self I smiled, waved and said hello but there were no smiles from them, you’d have thought that I was the Grinch who stole Christmas. They just kept on walking right by me with non smiling faces as if I didn’t even exist.

So it was possible that the people would stay away but we prayed they really would come and let us serve them and pray with them. The lady who invited us into her home was Irena. She has been having a weekly bible class with Wolfgang. The pictures that I took say it all and I will let the pictures do the talking.

We waited for quite a while and we thought that no one was coming to meet the strangers and the Christian doctor. Soon there were 1 and then 2 and then they were stacked up outside. I thought it was grand central station.

In the makeshift exam room, and I do mean makeshift, we began our work. The medical problems were many and many of the stories were sad. High blood pressure and alcohol were the two biggest problems on the list.

One little grandma came to see me and she was so sweet and so short maybe 4’8 and she really had no medical problems. In talking to her she just said she was lonely and just wanted to talk and have some companionship.

She had 2 sons and 2 grandsons and one son died from suicide and her husband had passed away from alcoholism a while back. It was so sad that all she wanted to do was talk for 5 to 10 minutes so we shared some time together and at the end, Grisha, myself and this little lady prayed for one of her grandsons who was in a cult, the other boy had made a suicide pact and followed through with it and the other boy didn’t.

Such tragedy. Tears were welling up in her eyes as she told me the story, it was at that time that we prayed and bowed our heads and it was a very sad and humbling experience.

We took a one and a half to two hour lunch break but unfortunately I couldn’t eat. It was to “messy”. The rooms we were in were mildewed and there was a strange meat on the table like nothing I had ever seen before, I had to be adventuresome on this one.

Trust me, I didn’t eat a lot but I did try it, it tasted like liver and I saw these little white bones sticking out of this porcelain bowl and I was curious as to what it was. I asked everybody what it was and a lot of Russian words were exchanged back and forth and I finally had my answer, it was badger. This was the first time I had ever had badger and I won’t be rushing to Publix to pick up some badger meat any time soon.

After lunch there were more people who came and the afternoon was full. One lady by the name of Olga had chest pain by her breast. Through Marsha, my interpreter she wanted to show me and on her right breast she had a large fungating breast cancer, she was only 53 years old. She said she was going into town the next day for chemo. I told her to definitely go and I prayed that she would go and get the necessary chemotherapy.

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Cellulite: Buyer Beware

I guess if there is a holy grail for plastic surgery it might be the eradication of cellulite. For many years, researchers and doctors have been fishing for the right answer. The fact that there are so many different treatment options available speaks to the fact that there is yet NO good answer. Many new, high priced devices running from $70,000 to $100,000 are coming on the market. But the real question remains, DO THEY WORK? The answer for the most part is "no." Many beauty magazines and talk show hosts probe the latest answer to the cellulite dilemma and say this really does work when, in reality, it doesn’t. Most machines claiming to reduce cellulite have as their main function a massager. Newer technology employs a new energy source such as ultrasound or infrared to somehow modify the underlying collagen molecules. Dr. Robert Weiss, who is president of American Society for Dermatalogic Surgery says ,"Nothing has been shown in an objective way to create improvement in cellulite.” There is a website called where people can exchange beauty information and some of the most vocal critics relate to cellulite treatments. Many patients have inquired about the VelaShape and from what I have been told it really doesn’t produce any LASTING results or improvements. The market for cellulite treatments is expected to grow from $80 million a year to $200 million in 2012. Another touted product has been SmoothShapes from Eleme Medical. The role of the FDA at this point is nothing more than to say that the device temporarily improves the appearance of cellulite. So you spend $1500-$2000 for treatnments over four, five or six weeks to get only a “temporary” improvement? So far the studies that have been done are small in number and rely on questionable photographic techniques. A cunning photographer can make any cellulite disappear with or without treatments. So, in the end, I say be cautious, wise and always suspicious. I will continue to keep you posted on the latest. Hope you are enjoying my journal from Siberia. Thanks. Dr. B

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dr. Brueck in Russia - 5th Diary Entry

This is day five of Dr. Brueck's medical mission to Siberia

July 1st 2008

Our flight took off about 11pm, we were up all night on the plane and I was in the middle of the sardine seat with my knees comfortably tucked under my chin. I thought the Moscow airport was bad; we had to actually show our luggage receipts in order to claim our bags. Big brother was ever present.

As we arrived in Abacon, Wolfgang the Russian missionary from Germany met us. We will be staying with he and his wife Judit and his sons, the older of the two is Mitah and Phil who is 11. We arrived in Abacon and the women on our team were going to stay in the main house with Wolfgang and his wife.

Grisha and I were banned to grulog #14 which was a 1 bedroom apartment in a tiny apartment building 2 blocks from where they lived. It was a very Spartan 1 room apartment with a little kitchenette area and a bathroom. I was lucky I got to sleep on the sofa and Grisha got 2 mattresses to sleep on the floor. I think in the end he got the better of the deal.

I certainly did not win a prize because the sofa was beveled in so it was like sleeping in a tube or a rut and if I was to sleep on my left side my left arm would fall asleep and if I switched over then the right side would fall asleep and I would be facing the back of the sofa.

The room was complete in that it had cold water and no hot running water. The lighting was less than ideal in that there were 2 wires coming from the center of the ceiling with a light bulb attached to it. In any event we were so tired from staying up all night on the flight from Moscow that we all decided to clean up, take a cold shower and try and sleep a little.

We were fortunate in that we were able to get a good nap and we slept for about 5 hours. The only problem with taking a 5 hour nap is that you’ll be up all night. We got up and walked down the road to Wolfgang’s house. We had some Russian dumplings which were homemade honey from daffodils in the field and the first salad from Judit’s garden.

The food was quite tasty and daffodil honey is very acceptable. Most of the people here have a tiny house and in the back yard they grow vegetables through the summer growing season and store them for the long winters. I was talking to Judit who was telling me that their electric bill is about $35.00 for 2 months, I wish we could be so fortunate to have a $35.00 electric bill for 2 months but I still wouldn’t trade what we have for what they have, but it still is a bargain to say the least.

During our dinner talk Wolfgang told us about a small child who was severely bitten on the face by a dog and I told him that when I got back to the states that I would send him some samples of Mederma which is a scar cream and they can pass it on to the little girl.

After dinner we sang some songs and Wolfgang gave us some insight on kakass people and the area to which we would be traveling in. The majority of the kakassian people are shamans and members of cults. Certainly this is fertile ground to spread Christianity.

We all watched out the window to see an approaching storm come from the valley. Wow it was big; the power went out for quite a while, so out came the candles and it was just like hurricane season in Florida.

We finally finished our meeting around 11pm and Grisha and I began walking home carefully in the dark. We got back to our room and shared some thoughts about the evening. My main concern was trying to sleep and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

In fact I ended up staying up the entire night.


More tomorrow...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dr. Brueck in Russia - 4th Diary Entry

This is the 4th day of Dr. Brueck's Siberian adventure diary.

June 30th 2008

Surprise, surprise, I am always amazed by surprises, I actually slept in, once again I fell asleep late probably about 2 or 3am and I slept until 10:30am. Grisha came by the apartment about 1pm and he, myself, Diane, and Stacy took off for the Kremlin. We saw the changing of the guard by the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

When we arrived at the Kremlin we as usual took out the rubles, you have to pay for everything here there are no free rides. Along the way there were many Nestle ice cream stands so I would stock up on these little ice cream cones that had pineapple on them, they were delicious and I would try and eat 2 to 3 a day.

In fact talking about rubles, the public toilets are pay toilets and you would have to at times pay 20 to 30 rubles and this equates to about $1.00 American.

The weather has been decent but it is always cloudy and it has rained every day but fortunately not for the entire day.

The Kremlin is huge and there are a lot of Russian Orthodox churches inside. The Russian Orthodox priest seemed to live quite well. As we were there at the big cathedral several of them were leaving after a big meeting and every one of them had their own personal body guards and got into their new BMW’s, Audi’s, and Mercedes, not too shabby. From what I understand they all have businesses and whatever that may mean, it obviously pays quite well.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dr. Brueck, plastic surgeon in Russia - Day 3

This is day three of Dr. Brueck's Siberian Adventure.

June 26th 2008

The train trip to Saint Petersburg was less than relaxing; my bed was a tad short. Below Grisha and I in the birth were a young mother and her daughter. Not being too comfortable and exhausted as I was I didn’t think it was fair to our 2 lower birth traveling companions to subject them to a painful auditory overload of a Brueck sawmill in the middle of a hurricane. I didn’t want them to think less of us Americans.

I arrived in Saint Petersburg in a sleep deprived stupor but I was pumped up to see the city. Not sure for what I had heard Saint Petersburg was truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I was certainly not disappointed they were right, the city was beautiful, and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many of the buildings we saw were undergoing renovations. It was truly a special treat and experience.

Thursday night was also special because European cup soccer was on. Grisha and I spent a good portion of the morning trying to find our hotel. We must have walked 50,000 miles to find this little hotel that was stashed away in a building through a doorway. It was called Nebsky express hotel. When we got there we made reservations to come back later that evening to have a place for the soccer match.

Everywhere in Saint Petersburg there were Russian flags and people were cheering and it was really an exciting opportunity. The game was going to start at 10:30pm which is a great time for the Bru because I’m usually in bed by 8:00. We had to pay 600 rubles and there are about 23 to 24 rubles per dollar and that was just to reserve a seat.

There were vendors everywhere selling flags and banners and celebrating the Russian success in soccer. There was electricity in the air to say the least. I was hoping that Russia would go up 6 to nothing in the first couple of minutes so I could competently declare the match over and head off to bed but no such luck. The first half ended 0-0 ugh!!!

When it was 3 to nothing Grisha knew it was over so we went to our rooms and by now it was 1:00am and it was still light outside and so of course since I had stayed up that late I had a second wind because in 2 to 3 hours it would be my normal time to awaken.

Not only was I up because of the day light, my comfort pedic mattress was less than ideal. In essence it was nothing more than a 2 inch mattress that had a sheet over it, but I was excited because the room did come with a hot shower so I was thankful for small favors. I probably slept for 2 to 3 hours only to get up Friday morning and begin the next day.

June 27th will be posted tomorrow.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dr. Brueck, plastic surgeon in Russia - Day 2

This the second day of Dr. Brueck's Siberian Medical Misssion diary

June 25th 2008

We landed at one of 3 or 4 airports in Moscow, the one we landed at was SVO, it was a considerable distance from Moscow and I was picked up by 2 members of the team.

As I was going through passport control I thought I was going to have to order pizza, slow, slower and slowest seemed to be the fashion of the day. It may have just been my nervous anxiety to begin the journey; I breezed right through customs with about $10,000.00 in cash that I was bringing over to the mission. They had sent me a check, asked me to cash it and bring new $100 bills.

I was waiting for some Russian customs official to start barking out in Russian to pull me aside and search me but I was cagey and I wrapped the money in saran wrap and put it inside my socks and I wore boots. Fortunately I went right through and was not detained or stopped in any way.

The team members were there waiting for me and I was relieved when I saw them, not speaking Russian could have been a problem and I later came to find out that very few people in Russia actually speak English.

The trip into the city was long, probably about an hour; we must have driven by 30,000 apartment complexes, of course I’m exaggerating but not by much. They are everywhere like trees in a forest.

We arrived at the apartment and Grisha, my interpreter (correcting typographical error) and I went to his apartment to get his things for our journey to Saint Petersburg. I soon found out that it is a very common custom throughout Russia to take your shoes off and put on slippers before you walk around the house.

Our train for Saint Petersburg was going to leave at 11:30 that night so we spent 2 or 3 hours trying to get rubles from the ATM machine with my visa card, this was next to impossible. I think we had spent a couple of hours contacting the States and the company and fortunately we were able to get it done before going to the train station.

We got to the train station in plenty of time and boarded around 11:00pm to begin our overnight journey into Saint Petersburg.

Day three, June26, will be posted tomorrow. Thank you

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Medical Mission to Siberia - Dr. Brueck, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Fort Myers

On the 24th of June, Dr. Brueck, Board Certified cosmetic surgeon, departed for Siberia, Russia on a medical mission. We will offer daily entries from his journal over the coming days.

June 24th 2008

The adventure begins…… My time with Katie was special, how blessed I am to have such a special, loving wonderful daughter and two great sons. She gave me some pictures which were great so I could share them with the families and people I will meet on my journey into Russia and Siberia. To my surprise and bewilderment the plane actually took off on time at 3:30PM. The flight path was up the east coast over Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and then over the top to Moscow. At 40,000 feet as I was looking down at the polar ice caps I could swear I saw ice forming on the polar ice caps, this would be amazing and I have to apologize to Al Gore that I think he is wrong. We actually landed about 30 minutes early, wow… modern technology. The flight was great; however I didn’t get any sleep because of the excitement. The food was so-so but you don’t travel half way around the world for gourmet food. The guy sitting next to me was from National Cash Register and was traveling to Moscow on a business deal. We had a great opportunity to share our families, our thoughts and our lives experiences. His oldest and only son is in a drug rehab center in Milwaukee so we exchanged addresses and I am going to give him some information about letters from dad and I certainly will have him in my prayers.

These journal entries will be posted to Dr. Brueck's web site at Beauty-by-Brueck. You may visit the web site ofr more information about Dr. Brueck and his cosmetic surgery practice in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dr. Brueck recognized by alma mater, MacMurray College

MacMurray College, Dr. Robert Brueck's undergraduate alma mater, has recognized him as one of their "Success Stories". The write-up, including a statement by Dr. Brueck concerning his collegiate experience is reproduced here.

I truly believe my MacMurray experience was the foundation for future success. Prior to coming to Mac, my mom had just passed away from a long struggle with breast cancer and my dad was disabled and not working. My younger brother, Bill, went to a special home for mentally retarded citizens in Watertown, Wisconsin. The adjustment to college life was daunting but at Mac I found everyone ready to assist me in my transition. I was encouraged to join the soccer team, a sport I had never played. All the encouragement my teammates and coaches gave me made me relentless to do my best, and by the end of my freshman year, I was starting on the varsity team. At the beginning of my sophomore year I was short $1645.00 on my tuition, which my dad promised to pay but never did. A few weeks after school began, Mr. Ricks, the business manager, called me into his office to discuss my account. I apologized and told him I would have to leave school. After a few days, he contacted me to let me know that my loan and scholarship had been increased to allow me to stay. Most schools would have said goodbye, but Mac took a caring and compassionate stand in view of my circumstances. I will forever be grateful and filled with such gratitude for their “going the extra mile”. MacMurray also offered a close-knit classroom structure which allowed me to blossom academically. Since I was somewhat introverted, MacMurray’s family environment allowed me to develop my social skills and become a well-rounded individual. I owe my success to all the wonderful people at MacMurray who took a chance on me, had faith and allowed me to develop.”

Dr. Robert J. Brueck graduated from MacMurray College in 1968 with a bachelor of arts in chemistry. At MacMurray, he participated on the MacMurray Soccer team, and in the MSA Senate, Letterman’s Club, Order of the Tartan, Norris House Council, and the Big Brother program.

After graduating from MacMurray, he entered the University of Florida to complete graduate work in chemistry. In 1973 he graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He then did a general surgical internship and plastic surgery training at Rush Presbyterian St Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago from 1974 to 1979. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in cosmetic surgery in Miami, Florida and in 1980 moved to Fort Myers, Florida, where he has built a successful practice for nearly 30 years. He has been chosen by Castle-Connelly and Gulf Shore Life magazine as being one of the “Best Doctors in Southwest Florida” for the last five years, being named as #3 in 2007 and #2 in 2006.

Brueck has been treasurer and president of the Lee County Medical Society and a delegate to the Florida Medical Association, president of the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center and member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of the Ft. Myers Rotary Club and Speakers’ Bureau, serves on the board of Elders at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church and is an active member of the Salvation Army Board. He and his wife, Winnie, chair the Leadership Gift Committee for Bishop Verot Catholic High School, the high school his three children (Jason, Kevin and Katie) attended. He has numerable publications and affiliations with professional organizations.

His community service includes such projects as starting “Paint your Heart Out Lee County”, a 10 year program that encouraged businesses and private volunteers to clean up, repair, landscape, and paint the homes of members of Lee County who were at poverty level or physically handicapped. He set up a clinic for the homeless in conjunction with the Salvation Army for patients who could not afford plastic surgery, which has received an award as the best new Salvation Army project and received a letter from then-President Clinton. He has actively been involved in mission work to Sri Lanka, Siberia and the Dominican Republic, where he does burn reconstruction on children at the Children’s Hospital in Santiago. He also assists the Genesis school, where children are provided food and schooling in a society that would not allow them to attend public school because they have no valid birth certificate for various reasons, including the death of their parents. He was instrumental in fundraising for the dedication of an orphanage for these children two years ago. His third project “Home of New Hope” is a live-in facility for profoundly mentally retarded or handicapped children, for which a sponsorship program as been developed. His efforts in Santiago have resulted in several new churches springing up from the faith-based assistance he is providing through the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.

For more information about Dr. Brueck's practice and the procedures he offers visit his website,