THIS MONTH’S PROFESSIONALS

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychology

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and the author of the book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers—Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent (Guilford, 2006). As a clinician, he specializes in helping families cope with serious and chronic medical illnesses. As an educator, he works as the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, PA and has had adjunct faculty positions with the Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Department of Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Latonya Law

Dr. Latonya Law

Family Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Latonya Law is a Family Nurse Practitioner, board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Credentialing Center (AANCC) and licensed by the state of Georgia. She is devoted to the advancement of medicine and contributes by holding memberships to the American Nurses Association, Black Nurses Rock, and Georgia Nurses Association.

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This Month’s Questions & Answers

  • MelissaLynn
    MelissaLynn, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Hello this journey is new and most of all SCARY. I ask a lot of questions and sometimes i feel as if i offend the doctors. How do i ask the questions necessary for my understanding with out the backlash of the concern of them not giving proper care to my mother. I wanna run away a lot!!!!"

    A.

    Having more and better information may help you feel less scared. Th doctors shouldn’t be offed by your questions. You deserve all the answers you’re seeking to learn more about your mother’s condition and how best to help her! I suggest that you write the questions down and either hand them to the doctor during your mother’s next medical visit or mail them to the medical office prior to the visit. For a variety of reasons, doctors are more likely to provide answers if the questions are in writing. If the doctor feels too busy to answer you, then he or she has the responsibility to have a nurse or other staff member work closely with you. Please don’t just back off and go silent. Your mother needs you to advocate for her!—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

  • MELM22
    MELM22, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Hi there, my name is Mel and I’m 35 years old , I suffered from a stroke 1 month ago and I have just got out of the hospital. I’m looking for a bit of support and guidance getting back towards living a quality life again . Thank you for your time , Mel"

    A.

    Community support is typically available in most communities to improve reintegration into society after an illness. Your hospital’s social services department will likely have a list of organizations with interest in stroke recovery in your community. If this doe not suffice, call your local American Stroke Association chapter and ask if they have any leads for community support. You should also be integrated into a rehabilitative program with the goal of returning to the previous level of engagement. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna

  • frecoll22
    frecoll22, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "I had cardiac ablation 7 days ago. Now I'm crying and so tired. Is this normal?"

    A.

    I have had patients who have had some changes to their energy level and mood-related to sedation medication given for a procedure, but 7 days out seems a bit far unless you were taking pain medication after discharge. It is also possible that you may need some of your cardiac medications adjusted, as they were prescribed before the ablation. Make sure that you follow up with the doctor who did the procedure as well as your regular cardiologist and PCP. Thank you, Nurse Tessa

  • dave1952
    dave1952, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "I am having trouble relearning how to walk smoothly similar to before the stroke. Is this normal for most stroke survivors? dave1952 support network member"

    A.

    Stroke commonly alters how survivors walk. Thankfully, recovery occurs with practice. An exercise program focusing on walking and balance will speed your recovery toward normalcy. Practice every day and hopefully your walking will again become smooth. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna

  • OneOmega
    OneOmega, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Why when speaking with my physicians (prime, cardio, nehp), QOL discussions rarely include anxiety, depression and isolation, why? This has got to be as important as the count of steps or grams of sodium."

    A.

    You make an excellent point. Exercise and diet are very important for managing heart disease and for ensuring a high quality of life. But social isolation, anxiety and depression are also associated with decreased quality of life and must be addressed as assiduously as lifestyle modifications. I suggest you raise these emotional concerns directly with your physicians. I don’t think they will dismiss your questions, though they may feel more comfortable referring you to a mental health professional to best address them. Be your own best advocate and bring up what most matters to you, rather than only what your physicians ask about.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

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