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Readers Write – Part 2

         On January 5 of this year, I wrote about a reflexologist, who used her skills to not only diagnose and heal, but also provide a caring touch for people (such as the elderly who live alone and well spouses) who can live for weeks at a time without being touched.


 

 


Dear Ann,

 

         Could you please share with me the name, address and phone number of the reflexologist whom you visited? I am divorced for almost 23 years, have had brain cancer which left me somewhat disabled, and my five children are all married, B”H, so I live all alone. I feel the skin hunger so strongly, at times. I think I could really benefit from this.

 

Thank you.

 

 


         The term “skin hunger” truly shows the desperate need we humans have to be touched. Whether a handshake, hug or pat on the back, the absence of touch for an extended period of time is devastating. Unfortunately, the therapist I wrote about worked too far from the letter writer. If anyone knows a reflexologist, massage therapist or another professional that lives in the (718) area code that concentrates on the whole person’s needs and can give time and caring along with healing to the above writer, please forward the information to me so I can pass it on.


 


Thanks, Ann


 


 


Dear Ann,

 

         I happen to be in total agreement about the cell phones being overused (December 1, 2006). One can see young children sent to the corner store with cell phones. What ever happened to the idea of carrying a list and reading, or remembering the items needed,  skills that are now being wasted. This further carries over to the school setting and thus many, rather too many, have learning problems. Unfortunately, I realize that there are those who do and will always have problems in school but perhaps some could be avoided.

 

Unsigned

 

Dear Unsigned,

 

         All the new technology has its positive and negative sides. We are all familiar with the advantages and dangers of computers, for example. One recent new finding about the excessive use of computers by young children, is their declining ability to make eye contact with people when speaking and a lag in social skills development. Both are very important for success. We must be very vigilant to the negatives in new technology as well as the lost opportunities for personal and social development.

 

         I absolutely agree with you that cell phones have unfortunately replaced many chances for learning. Writing and reading grocery lists was always a tool for developing reading skills in young children. Also, remembering what was needed in the store was one way to exercise memory skills. I believe that dependence (of any kind) is rarely a good thing. Whether it is on tools or people, it hinders the development of self-confidence and independence, both of which are very important.

 

         But it is important to remember that it’s not the tools themselves that are the culprits but how weallow them to be used by our children and ourselves. In the end, it is we who decide whether these tools will make our lives easier or steal essential developmental exercises from our families.


 

 

Hi Ann-

 

         I read with great interest your January 12, 2007 column, “The Importance of a Medical List.” I have a nursing consulting business here in Miami Beach. One of the services I provide is a health information card that documents a patient’s vital information. This card is wallet-size and laminated. It is ideal for elderly people who need to have the information accessed by family, friends, paramedics or other healthcare personnel in the event of a medical emergency. It includes important contact and medical information.

 

          I genuinely believe that all elderly people should carry such a card so that in a medical emergency, this information is readily accessible to family, friends, or healthcare personnel.

 

         It is an ideal gift for Bubbe or Zayde, and can be updated as frequently as necessary. The initial charge for the card is $18.00, and any periodic updates on the card (i.e. for medication changes or contact changes) are $7.50.

 

         I can either fax or e-mail the health information form to a designated family member, and once it is completed and returned to me, I’ll input the data into the computer If the buyer mentions this article when placing the order, I will send them two cards for the price of one. A family member could hold the duplicate card, so that the important medical information that is on the card can be accessed.


Barbara Lang blangrn@hotmail.com


 (305) 778-6327

 

Dear Barbara

 

         Thanks for sharing the information on this valuable service. Carrying this information could save your life and give your children peace of mind. Whether your medical list is scribbled on a scrap of paper, printed on a computer or is professionally done by a company such as yours is up to each individual. But carrying such information wherever you go should be seen as a necessity.

 

Ann


 


         Note: I have no personal knowledge of the letter writer or her business. Publishing her letter should not be considered an endorsement but a sharing of an interesting ideaand place to startshould you have the need of such services.

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com 

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When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.

Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.

Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.

Dear Ann,

I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.

Dear Ann,

Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.

Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.

Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/readers-write-part-2/2007/02/28/

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