In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Chronic illness advances the body in its aging process. And so a person in his early 50s who is chronically ill may react to an infection the same way we’d expect from an 80- or 90-year-old person. Because of the chronic nature of the illness, the symptoms displayed are usually seen by family and even sometimes professionals as a natural progression of the illness and looking for other causes of the symptoms may not be the first course of action.
Moshe was hospitalized, yet again, because of pressure sores that were a result of his constant need to sit in his wheel chair. The hospital stay for this procedure was usually around six weeks. His wife was startled when Moshe called her at 3:00 a.m. one night. When she answered the phone, she heard her husband’s whispered voice, “I think someone is trying to kill me.” Moshe’s wife panicked.
Despite years of chronic illness her husband had always been mentally competent. She knew that as the illness progressed there was a chance that his cognitive skills might deteriorate. But he had been mentally sound for so long she thought they had escaped this part of the progression of his illness. All night her husband kept calling with whispered stories of strange people trying to poison him, of being forcibly moved to unfamiliar places and even asking her to call the police before they killed him.
When she arrived at the hospital the next day, Moshe’s condition seemed a bit better. He would wax in and out of this paranoid state, alternating between recognizing the nurse and refusing to take medication convinced it was poison. But as the day progressed, so did the paranoia and the nurses were talking about using restraints and forcing medication on him.
Moshe’s wife was beside herself. Could the illness suddenly progress to this stage so quickly? Two days ago they were talking about filing income tax and paying bills and today Moshe had accused his wife of being part of the group that was trying to kill him. Things got steadily worse over the next few days. A neurologist was called for a consult. Even a psychiatrist was called in. Tests were ordered.
Moshe’s wife saw her life as a “well spouse” taking a turn for the worse in a way she never thought possible. Finally, several days after the onset of the paranoia, it was discovered that Moshe had a Urinary Track Infection. He was put on a dose of antibiotics immediately and within hours the bizarre symptoms he was displaying began to diminish. Slowly, his mental state returned to normal.
The doctor explained to Moshe and his wife that people with chronic illness react to infection the same way the aged do and they can often display symptoms that look more like mental illness than physical ones. This makes diagnosis difficult. Especially when the person suffering from the chronic illness is relatively young, medical professionals sometimes forget to look for a simple physical cause and just assume it is the illness progressing.
Well spouses need to be acutely aware of this phenomenon. This is especially true if their spouses are young and have not shown cognitive impairment to date. A sudden change in behavior, memory, even onset of paranoia may be a result of nothing more than a simple infection. Infection needs to be ruled out as the cause before blaming the progression of the illness.
Unfortunately, it may be up to the well spouse to remind the doctors of this and insist on the testing, as too often the chronic illness is diagnosed as the total cause for any medical condition or change that we may see in those we love.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
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.
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.
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/when-what-looks-like-dementia-is-really-something-else/2009/01/28/
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