THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Some Doctors Don’t Understand About Us

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we communicate with health care professionals. When our loved ones are very sick, they are usually in the hospital and as we gather information to make important choices, we are forced to navigate the uncharted waters of conversations that are so complicated, they are almost impossible to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Some Doctors Don’t Understand About Us

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we communicate with health care professionals. When our loved ones are very sick, they are usually in the hospital and as we gather information to make important choices, we are forced to navigate the uncharted waters of conversations that are so complicated, they are almost impossible to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: When Long-Term Caregivers Tell Their Stories, Outcomes Improve

Arthur Kleinman understands families like mine.  I know he does, because he wrote this: The chronically ill (and their caregivers) often are like those trapped at a frontier, wandering confused in a poorly known border area, waiting desperately to return to their native land.  Chronicity for many is the dangerous crossing of the borders, the interminable ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Envisioning a Better Future for Caregivers

Arthur Kleinman understands families like mine.  I know he does, because he wrote this: The chronically ill often are like those trapped at a frontier, wandering confused in a poorly known border area, waiting desperately to return to their native land.  Chronicity for many is the dangerous crossing of the borders, the interminable waiting to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Lessons in the Meaning of Illness, Aging and Disability

In the days, months and years since my father’s first stroke, since the birth of my two children, since the diagnosis of our son’s disabilities and more recently, since my mother’s increasing infirmity, I have scoured books and my own memories to find meaning in my caregiving experiences. With my Dad and with Nicholas, there ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Lessons in the Meaning of Caregiving

I believe that I have a crush on a man I have never met.  His name is Arthur Kleinman and he’s a Harvard psychiatrist and anthropologist.  I’ve written before about Dr. Kleinman and his ‘eight questions’ that might have helped Lia Lee and her family in Anne Fadiman’s touching and tragic “The Spirit Catches You ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Eight Questions That Can Heal

Dr. Arthur Kleinman is a psychiatrist and anthropologist who heads the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard University.  In my last blog post, I talked about the heartbreaking story of Lia Lee in “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman.  Lia’s intractable seizure disorder combined with the cultural barriers between Lia’s ...