|Posted by 2bstressfree on December 18, 2009 at 5:56 AM||comments (1)|
Many people, as a result of acoustic neuroma surgery, are living with facial paralysis. If you were recently treated, and this is new to you, you may understandably feel "shy" about being seen around people you don't know well.
For many, this paralysis will be short lived and resolve on its own. For many others, various nerve grafts and other surgeries, or facial retraining exercises, may offer some improvement. For others, these methods have been a case of "diminishing returns." So, don't feel you are the only one.
The point of this article is how to enjoy the holidays in spite of your facial situation. If you have had it for a long time, you have hopefully adapted to it, so it is no longer the be all and end all. If you are newer to this situation, you may still be in shock over it. You may think that strangers and casual acquaintences may "recoil" in horror when they see you coming.
Let's try on some other perspectives, which might help you get out and enjoy yourself more:
I hope these tips are helpful to you, and I wish you a peaceful holiday season.
Kate Boswell MFT is a Los Angeles based psychotherapist, helping people through anxiety, depression and relationship issues related to their health concerns. From Marina del Rey, she serves the communities of Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, Westchester, Inglewood, and the South Bay Cities. Kate is a licensed marriage and family therapist, lic. no. MFC20851. She can be reached at (310) 658-3158 and [email protected] .
|Posted by 2bstressfree on December 18, 2009 at 5:19 AM||comments (0)|
If you are dealing with an acoustic neuroma diagnosis, or recovering from treatment, you may find the holidays to be more depressing than uplifting. You may be dealing with the shock of your diagnosis, or trying to figure out the best treatment, or figuring out how to live with the "new normal." You just may not be in the mood to be happy and celebrating.
You are not alone. Many people who are well and generally happy, still find this time to be depressing. There are a few reasons for this. Advertisers constantly paint it as a time full of gaeity and delightful nostalgia. We see pictures of happy families, or ecstatic looking couples. Most of us don't fit the mold, and may wonder what the heck is wrong with us.
Many people run themselves ragged, trying to shop for just the right presents, going to more social events than they have time for, and overdoing the non nutritious foods. All this added stress, and lack of taking care of ourselves, is a recipe for depression. If you are already depressed, this can certainly add to it.
One way to help with depression is to "reframe" how you interpret things. Instead of feeling disappointed that your holiday or vacation isn't measuring up, try to see it in more realistic terms. It is what it is. It doesn't have to look like a picture postcard version.
If there is a get together you really want to go to, but dread it because you know you will have trouble hearing, try to "reframe" it as an opportunity to just meet and greet old friends, saving the more in depth conversations for other times. Or maybe suggest a sing a long or game that everyone, including you, can noisily participate in.
"Reframing" is just one part of helping with depression. You can learn more about it in the book "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns, M.D. You can also find more examples on my website www.2bstressfree.com.
If you are severely depressed, and self help tools aren't helping, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can read my pages on Why Counseling? and How to Choose a Counselor on my acoustic neuroma website, www.ANeuromacope.com
I hope these thoughts have been helpful to you and wish you a peaceful holiday season.
Kate Boswell MFT is a Los Angeles based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lic. No. MFC20851. She helps people with depression, anxiety, and relationship issues, related to their health concerns. Her Marina del Rey location is easily accessed from Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica, Westchester, Culver City, Inglewood, West Los Angeles, and the South Bay Cities. Kate can be reached at (310) 658-3158 and [email protected] .
|Posted by 2bstressfree on December 17, 2009 at 3:52 AM||comments (2)|
The Holidays can be a stressful time of year for most people. If you are struggling with acoustic neuroma issues, it can be even more stressful.
You may find your balance lessening and your tinnitus increasing. You may find yourself not up to social events where you can't hear well over all the other people talking.
And if you were recently diagnosed or treated, you just may not feel like being in situations that are casually friendly. You may want to be with preferred close friends and family in quieter settings.
Here are a few tips to help you sail through The Season more easily:
These are just a few general tips. I hope they are helpful. I will be posting tips on more specific situations around the Holidays, between now and the New Year.
Kate Boswell is a Los Angeles based psychotherapist, helping people cope with depression, anxiety, and relationship issues related to their health concerns. Her Marina del Rey location is near Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, Santa Monica, Del Rey, Culver City, Inglewood, Westchester, West Los Angeles, and the South Bay Cities. Kate is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lic. No. MFC20851.
|Posted by 2bstressfree on August 21, 2009 at 7:10 PM||comments (1)|
One sided hearing loss is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of acoustic neuroma. Increased hearing loss or even total deafness in the affected ear often result from the treatment.
If you are living with one sided hearing loss or deafness,you may be familiar with some of the following scenarios.
You are crossing a parking lot and hear someone calling your name. You can't tell what direction the call is coming from. You can't tell how far away it is either. You look around for visual cues. In the meantime your friend calls out a few times, "Over here!" You have no idea what "Over here" means. You yell out,"Where?" and they repeat, "Over here!" You are tempted toshout out, "State your location precisely!" You do a 360 degree turn and finally see yourfriend.
You have gone to a work related lunch meeting at a noisy restaurant. You arrive early and carefully choose a seat, where your affected ear will be facing away from most of the group. You leave your jacket on your chosen chair to mark it as taken. You dash off for a quick visit to the bathroom. When you return, the whole group has suddenly arrived. Someone has taken your seat and your jacket is now on a chair where your deaf ear will be pointed toward the group.
Your neighbor's stereo is on really loud. You have reached the point of deciding it is time to go and ask them to turn it down. The trouble is, you can't tell what direction it is coming from. All you know is that it is permeating your living space. So, you go out on a walk about, looking for visual cues. You are starting to feel frustrated with these investigative walks.
You are at a meeting at work. You wish people would talk one at a time, and listen to each other. With your one sided deafness, it is almost impossible to hear the designated speaker if there is side talking going on. Your ear will seem to fill up with the side talking going on around you, cancelling out what the speaker is saying. You happen to look to the side, and see that the person sitting beside you, next to your deaf ear, is moving their lips. They seem to be talking to you. You have no idea how long they have been carrying on and how much of it they assume you have been listening to.
The following tips are being offered to help you cope:
Kate Boswell MFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Los Angeles area. She helps people with depression and anxiety, especially when it is related to coping with health issues. Her Marina del Rey location is near the communities of Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, VeniceBeach, Culver City, Inglewood, Westchester, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach.
|Posted by 2bstressfree on May 1, 2009 at 2:48 AM||comments (0)|
As May 1st was approaching, it occured to me that would be the nine year anniversary of my acoustic neuroma surgery. I am commemorating this by committing to writing my book. The e-book is in draft form and is called Coping Emotionally with Acoustic Neuroma: from Diagnosis Aftershock to Treatment Aftereffects.
After the immediate recovery period nine years ago, it started feeling like there was a book in me that wanted to come out. I was journaling even when I couldn't see well yet, and could only scribble and sketch pictures and symbols of my experience. It was disappointing that the surgery caused some vision troubles, but the inner writer made the best of the tools available.
Once my eyesight returned, I continued writing periodically, about the experience and what it taught me. It seemed that my notes might be useful to someone someday. Soon, however, I was back to work and focusing on my career path again. The book stayed in the background of my mind and resurfaced once in a while.
The idea of a book kept resurfacing. It seems like there is a story to tell which will help other people. The "naysayer" in me says "There is no need! People can go to online discussion groups and read lots and lots of stories." The "yes" in me says, "You have a story to share about coping, and as one of the few therapists who have undergone this journey, it is your duty to tell it!"
Then the idea of an e-book came up. That is certainly more do-able than the Great American Novel I was making it out to be.
Here you have it, my committment to completing an e-book early next year. In the meantime, please make use of the tips and thoughts on coping, in this website and blog.
Kate Boswell MFT is a marriage and family therapist in Marina del Rey, CA. She helps people cope with anxiety and face life challenges with confidence. She serves the nearby towns of Playa del Rey, Culver City, Venice, Westchester, and the greater West Los Angeles and South Bay areas. Kate can be reached at 310-658-3158 and www.2bstressfree.com
|Posted by 2bstressfree on April 1, 2009 at 3:29 PM||comments (3)|
If you have been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, it is natural to react with fear.
I hope the following tips for coping with fear will help you calm your mind, and deal with the task at hand.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. I am an acoustic neuroma survivor and a therapist, who understands how scary an acoustic neuroma diagnosis can be. It is my hope that you will be able to cope with the fear and move forward in dealing with your acoustic neuroma.
Kate Boswell MFT is a therapist in private practice in Marina del Rey, Ca. She helps people cope with anxiety related to their health and other life challenges.