Jan

The wedding of Jan’s daughter was six months away and the planning for it was gaining momentum. Instead of feeling excited, Jan was feeling desperate. What if she had a panic attack on the day of the wedding? What if she had to leave the church or the reception? What would everyone think? She didn’t want to make a fool of herself or disrupt the wedding in any way. What if she couldn’t even make it to the wedding at all? She was feeling anxious about it already, yet it was still six months away. Jan wanted to prevent her anxiety from increasing, but she didn’t know how.

Marilyn’s counsellor had told her that clinging to the memory of her first panic attack was not helping her as she worked on her recovery. Marilyn felt quite angry with the counsellor. What did the counsellor know anyway? That first panic attack was dreadful. Marilyn had been in the local shopping mall when it happened. She had no idea what it was and had thought she was dying. She had asked a few people to help her, but they didn’t respond. They must have thought she was either drunk or crazy. Marilyn had.to get back to her car and drive herself home, where she stayed for the next four years. Although she had made it home safely every time she tried to go out since then, Marilyn would think of her first attack and naturally she would become anxious. She didn’t want to go through that again. How could she not think about that attack? It was that attack which caused all the ongoing problems. Marilyn thought the counsellor, like all the rest she had seen, didn’t really understand and wouldn’t be able to help her.

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The bags under your eyes, the weight you have been losing or gaining, the grumpiness and sheer exhaustion—these are the obvious reasons to make some changes. Your child’s physical and emotional well-being are also reasons.

Dr. Burton White, author of The First Three Years of Life, feels that sleep problems understandably occur in families where children are loved and whose needs have been met. So, in some ways, the emergence of sleep problems is not necessarily a bad sign. He notes that it is the continuance of sleep disturbances that can cause deeper problems.

Dr. If your child has not learned them, then his functioning during wakefulness is not “optimal.”2 Put simply, a sleep-deprived child (waking several times a night or missing out on even an hour) is not at his best. His cognitive processes will be fuzzy and his social functioning will be marked by grumpy unpredictability.

A child can “adjust” to whatever sleep patterns he has fallen into. (Look at how you have “adjusted.” Do you say “I didn’t know it was possible to exist with so little sleep”?) However, there are signs—some subtle, some blatant—that he is not at his best.

It is the parents’ job to insist on healthy sleep, just as they insist on healthy nutrition, to give the child the strongest base from which to grow. Good sleep habits do not necessarily happen spontaneously. This is a skill that can be learned by children and facilitated by parents.

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Too much calcium in the blood usually means that your cancer has spread to the bones, especially if your cancer started in the breast. However, the reverse is not true—in general, cancer does not usually cause excessive release of calcium when it spreads to the bones. Some particular types of cancer can also cause high calcium levels in the blood without spreading at all, but this is unusual. The ones that can do it include squamous cancer of the lung and cancers of the kidney and ovary.

Of course this may either be impossible or so costly that you decide that it is not worth trying. The main alternative is to work on reducing the high calcium levels, either instead of attacking the responsible cancer, or while you are waiting for anti-cancer treatment to work. Some of the ways of reducing high calcium levels include flushing the calcium through the system with a lot of intravenous fluids, or by using mithramycin, phosphate mixtures taken by mouth or corticosteroids.

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