Memories of molestation cloud girl’s thoughts of the future
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.