Mem­o­ries of mo­lesta­tion cloud girl’s thoughts of the fu­ture

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - PHOTO FEATURE -

I’m al­most an adult now, start­ing to think about hav­ing chil­dren and a good mar­riage of my own. But I have a dis­turb­ing child­hood mem­ory I have never been able to erase.

When I was 6 or 7 and stay­ing at my grand­par­ents’ house, and my grand­mother would go out­side to check the mail or wa­ter the flow­ers, my grand­fa­ther would try to put his hands on my pri­vate parts. He wouldn’t speak a word to me EVER, even if she was around. In fact, I’m quite sure I never wit­nessed him say any­thing at all to any­one. But as soon as Grandma was out of sight, well, that was his chance to put his hands on me, then laugh when I tried to wig­gle away.

Re­cently, after I re­mem­bered those episodes again, I tried to bring this up with my mom in or­der to get her sup­port. Abby, she re­acted as if there was some­thing re­ally wrong with ME or that I was ly­ing!

Not sur­pris­ingly, I don’t want that man around my fu­ture chil­dren. I have no real re­la­tion­ship with him. I know this mem­ory isn’t some­thing I just imag­ined or made up “to em­bar­rass the fam­ily.” What should I do in ref­er­ence to Mom’s re­sponse?

In ref­er­ence to your mother’s re­sponse when you told her her fa­ther mo­lested you when you were lit­tle, con­clude that the same thing likely hap­pened to her. You should also con­clude that, if that’s the case, she knew what he was ca­pa­ble of and did noth­ing to pro­tect you. For that rea­son, your grand­fa­ther should not be al­lowed to be around your chil­dren — or any chil­dren, for that mat­ter.

Be­cause of the se­ri­ous­ness of what hap­pened to you, it would be a good idea for you to con­tact R.A.I.N.N., the Rape, Abuse and In­cest Na­tional Net­work. Its web­site is rainn.org and the toll-free phone num­ber is 800656-4673.

My el­derly mother lost her hus­band and will be mov­ing in with me. The prob­lem is, Mom is one of those peo­ple for whom noth­ing is ever good enough. One of my sib­lings has al­ready in­formed me that Mom told her my house, my neigh­bor­hood, my town, our hos­pi­tals, etc. are not good enough for her. I’m wor­ried that after she moves in and I hear her com­plain ev­ery day, I’ll lose my tem­per. Do you have any words of wis­dom for me?

I sure do. Ask your mother NOW, be­fore she re­lo­cates, if what your sib­ling said is true. And if it is, do NOT let her move into your home.

Is it rude for some­one not to cash a check you have writ­ten to them within a cer­tain time pe­riod? I think it is, but maybe I’m wrong. Be­cause I keep track of my bank­ing on­line and not in a tra­di­tional check­book, I end up hav­ing to try to re­mem­ber to ad­just my avail­able bal­ance to in­clude the check’s amount. What do you think?

I agree that it’s rude. When a can­celed check does not show up — some­times for months — it makes rec­on­cil­ing the giver’s check­book a pain in the neck and some­times lower.

I am won­der­ing about oral her­pes. Have there been any ad­vances made for treat­ing or pre­vent­ing oral her­pes? I know about and use Abreva, but is there any­thing that works bet­ter?

Her­pes sim­plex virus type one is the cause of oral her­pes, usu­ally called “cold sores” or “fever blis­ters.” Th­ese of­ten start as a clear flu­id­filled blis­ter on the lips or in the mouth. Many peo­ple carry the virus, and some peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence pe­ri­odic out­breaks of th­ese painful le­sions.

Do­cosanol (Abreva) is an over-the-counter cream that pre­vents vi­ral en­try and repli­ca­tion of the virus. Sev­eral, but not all, stud­ies show that it is ef­fec­tive at speed­ing heal­ing. How­ever, it is not as ef­fec­tive as the pre­scrip­tion cream pen­ci­clovir at re­duc­ing the size and num­ber of her­pes le­sions. Un­for­tu­nately, the cost of pen­ci­clovir cream is pro­hib­i­tive for many, with a sin­gle 5-gram tube re­tail­ing for around $800 in the U.S. Another over-the­counter med­i­ca­tion, ben­za­lko­nium (Viroxyn), was shown to be about as good as or bet­ter than Abreva at mak­ing cold sores go away faster, and it also con­tains an anes­thetic to ease the pain.

We re­ally need bet­ter treat­ments for this com­mon, painful con­di­tion. There is hope for a vac­cine in the fu­ture.

I have some ques­tions after a re­cent surgery. I had a lumpec­tomy on my left breast, and five lymph nodes were re­moved. I was told not to have my blood pres­sure taken from, shots given into or blood taken from that arm. I have asked a few doc­tors and nurses how long I have to wait to use that arm again for th­ese pro­ce­dures. I have been told any­where from a year to the rest of my life. I also won­der what hap­pens if I am in an ac­ci­dent and can­not talk and the med­i­cal re­spon­ders use that arm. What is go­ing to hap­pen? No one seems to be able to tell me.

The con­cern is that you may de­velop a con­di­tion called lym­phedema. The lym­phatic ves­sels nor­mally take up fluid from the soft tis­sues of the body and re­turn it to the cir­cu­la­tion. If th­ese ves­sels are dam­aged, through ra­di­a­tion, can­cer or other means (some­times we never know how it hap­pens), then the af­fected limb can swell. The swelling from lym­phedema doesn’t get bet­ter overnight as well as the swelling that comes from leaky valves in the veins (ve­nous in­com­pe­tence).

Be­cause of the surgery, and es­pe­cially if the lump was can­cer­ous, you are at risk for de­vel­op­ing lym­phedema, which can be trig­gered by a sim­ple med­i­cal pro­ce­dure of the type you de­scribe. Your con­di­tion is some­times re­ferred to as “stage 0 lym­phedema,” mean­ing you have risk but no symp­toms. In an emer­gency, of course the pri­or­ity is to get you re­sus­ci­tated. Even if you have an IV or blood pres­sure taken, you are not likely to de­velop lym­phedema, but not get­ting th­ese pro­ce­dures done re­duces your risk. Lym­phedema has a very sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on peo­ple’s qual­ity of life, so it is much bet­ter to pre­vent this dis­ease than it is to have to treat it.

I would rec­om­mend avoid­ing pro­ce­dures on that arm for life. Also, any mi­nor in­juries on that arm, as sim­ple as a pa­per cut or in­sect bite, should be treated ag­gres­sively with top­i­cal an­tibi­otics, mois­tur­iz­ers and anti-itch med­i­ca­tion to re­duce any dam­age to the skin. It’s in­fec­tion that is the big­gest risk for trig­ger­ing symp­to­matic lym­phedema.

The book­let on edema and lym­phedema pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on the causes of foot and an­kle swelling. Read­ers can or­der a copy by writ­ing: Dr. Roach Book No. 106 628 Vir­ginia Dr. Or­lando, FL 32803 En­close a check or money or­der (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the re­cip­i­ent’s printed name and ad­dress. Please al­low four weeks for delivery.

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