HEALING THROUGH UNITY
A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.
Volume 6, Issue #5
- Stories of 'Abdu'l-Baha
- Some Thoughts on the Needs of Alzheimer Patients
- Organ Donation
- Dealing With Kidney Dysfunction
- Question of the Month
- Purpose of the Newsletter
STORIES OF 'ABDU'L-BAHA
"'Abdu'l-Baha's kind heart went out to those who were ill. If He could alleviate a pain or discomfort, he set about to do so. We are told that one old couple who were ill in bed for a month had twenty visits from the Master during that time in Akka. He daily sent a servant to inquire about the welfare of the ill, and as there was no hospital in town, He paid a doctor a regular salary to look after the poor. The doctor was instructed not to tell Who provided this service. When a poor and crippled woman was shunned on contracting measles, the Master, on being informed, 'immediately engaged a woman to care for her; took a room, put comfortable bedding (His own) into it, called the doctor, sent food and everything she needed. He went to see that she had every attention, and when she died in peace and comfort, He it was Who arranged her simple funeral, paying all charges.'" (Honnold, Vignettes from the Life of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 43-4)
Lua Gestinger, one of the early Baha'is of America, tells of an experience she had in Akka. She had made the pilgrimage to the prison-city to see 'Abdu'l-Baha. One day He said to her that He was too busy today to call upon a friend of His who was very poor and sick. He wished Lua to go in His place. He told her to take food to the sick man and care for him as He had been doing.
Lua learned the address and immediately went to do as 'Abdu'l-Baha had asked. She felt proud that 'Abdu'l-Baha had trusted her with some of His own work. But soon she returned to 'Abdu'l-Baha in a state of excitement. "Master," she exclaimed, "You sent me to a very terrible place! I almost fainted from the awful smell, the dirty rooms, the degrading condition of that man and his house. I left quickly before I could catch some terrible disease."
Sadly and sternly, 'Abdu'l-Baha gazed at her. If she wanted to serve God, He told her, she would have to serve her fellow man, because in every person she should see the image and likeness of God. Then He told her to go back to the man's house. If the house was dirty, she should clean it. If the man was dirty, she should bathe him. If he was hungry, she should feed him. He asked her not to come back until all of this was done. 'Abdu'l-Baha has done these things many times for this man, and he told Lua Getsinger that she should be able to do them once. This is how 'Abdu'l-Baha taught Lua to serve her fellow man. (Teaching Children's Classes, Ruhi Institute, Book 3, Columbia)
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE NEEDS OF ALZHEIMER PATIENTS
By Elizabeth Rochester, St. John's, Newfoundland
This article is written as a tribute to my mother, who survives in my memory, a witty, charming, intelligent and capable woman, who was interested in everyone and everything, and who in the closing years of her life, suffered the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. It is dedicated to the nursing staff that impressed me with their kindness and concern during the brief periods when my mother was hospitalized.
SYNOPSIS OF MY MOTHER'S MEDICAL HISTORY
In July of 1984, after several bad falls, my almost blind mother, then 78 years of age, moved from Toronto to St. John's, Newfoundland to live within easy walking distance of our home. Extensive testing resulted in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, confirming what had been strenuously denied by my mother: the need for her to be taken care of. After much loving, gentle, but persistent persuasion, my mother agreed to move into an apartment that had been constructed for her in our home. In February 1987, she had surgery to remove a malignant ovarian cyst, and on August 31 she died at home, quite suddenly, of cancer.
1. It is not my intention to imply, however subtly, that Alzheimer patients ought to be cared for in the home. I say this because I know how easy it is to feel guilty in relation to Alzheimer patients, and I do not want to add, in the slightest, to anyone's sense of guilt. I regard it as a privilege, although there were times when it didn't feel like a privilege, to have been able to care for my mother. There were several important factors that made this possible. My children were willing and my husband supported and assisted me throughout the entire period. Our home was big enough to make privacy possible both for my mother and for our family. I fully realize that, for many others, what worked for us might not be desirable, or even possible, for others.
2. There is a need for research and more information which could be very helpful in the education of the care-giver, thus facilitating the care of the patient in the early stages of the disease. Throughout the last three years of my mother's life, I was struggling to understand what was happening to her and to us. I was gradually gaining insight into the emotional, social, and spiritual challenges facing us, and discovering ways of living constructively with this dreadful illness. As my mother's memory steadily declined and her physical energy and strength diminished, I had to fight a tendency to lament that I had not understood, from the beginning, what had taken three years to learn.
The beginning was very, very difficult. It would be a whole year before the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease cast light on what was happening. I was bewildered and quite frightened - having no idea of what was in store for us, and found my mother's behaviour incomprehensible.
It is often said that Alzheimer's disease affects everyone differently. I am sure that this is true, because the manner in which a person tackles the problems of life depends so much on his personality and character. A less independent person, who liked to be looked after, would not have had to struggle in the same way my mother struggled. For a person, once so independent, so well able to give direction and definition to her own life, to lose these characteristics, must be devastating. In such a situation, I think anger, rebelliousness, suspicion, even paranoia are understandable responses.
Understandable or not, they are not easy characteristics to live with. And, while it was not easy, I did find it possible to help my mother, over quite a long period of time, to accept what was happening to her.
As a result of my experiences, I would make the following suggestions:
* As often as possible, think of and speak to the soul behind the clouds, the person you glimpse in moments of insight.
* Reminisce frequently about the patient's past accomplishments and the continuing results of the work he/she has done. Make a connection between the present accomplishments of grown children, and the training and example the parent once gave them as children. It is their turn, now, to shoulder responsibilities the patient once carried.
* Continually assure the patient that he is not responsible for the loss of powers, but that he is responsible when he chooses to blame others rather than acknowledge such loss. With my mother, I would continually repeat: "You have a choice, Mom. You can believe that you live with a mean and hateful person who deprives you of the information you need, or you can accept that you forget. There is no other explanation." Two weeks before she died, she made a definite choice: "No, I don't want to hate you."
Good care of the patient requires a lot of time, but it is important that the time be "given". When there is nothing left to give, it is important that there be protection from unending demands. The patient's greatest enemy is the exhaustion of the caregiver and her family.
My greatest problem, as the primary care giver, was not only exhaustion but also the total absence of privacy. My mother was very suspicious of any conversation I had with anyone, so she would sneak around, listening in to visitors and telephone conversations, always assuming that she was the subject being discussed, and usually totally misinterpreting what was being said. It was excruciating.
As a result, I strongly recommend that locks be put on a number of doors, preferably before the patient moves into the home. * Ensure that there is some private place where the caregiver can rest, read without interruption, and where the family can interact without the hazard of being misunderstood, or of arousing the patient's jealousy.
* Put locks on the kitchen. It is amazing how many ways a mischievous or "helpful" Alzheimer patient can disrupt plans or endanger her own welfare.
* When people visit the home, most of the time the patient should be present; otherwise her life will be bereft of substance and meaning. Nonetheless, there are times when it is inappropriate for the patient to be present. Make it possible to visit in private; that is, place locks so that the patient cannot stand just outside the door to listen in; a paranoid patient can sometimes do astonishing things with a perfectly simple conversation. This is particularly true of telephone calls that are even easier to misinterpret.
* Alzheimer's disease need not be the only cause of problems. I strongly recommend that the caregiver consider other possible causes of problems. The following descriptions of our experiences, give some example of what I mean.
By the end of the period when my mother lived alone in a senior citizen's apartment, I was running two households: one for my husband and children, and one for my mother. Despite my best efforts, my mother ate so little that her weight (never more than approx. 100 lbs.) dropped to approx. 80 lbs.
It took several weeks before I began to suspect that my mother was heavily addicted to sugar and caffeine, and extremely sensitive to the aspirin in 222's. Associated with her deteriorating eyesight, she suffered from quite severe and chronic headaches.
Whatever "other" problems my mother had, Alzheimer's always managed to be mixed in with them. It was challenging to try to unscramble such interacting reactions as those that follow.
In the daytime, she was quarrelsome - always wanting to move back to Toronto and get a job. At night, she prowled around, restless as a cat in a strange environment. At 3 a.m., our bedroom light snapped on:
"Who is that in bed with you", she demanded to know.
My poor dignified mother would have been horrified at such conduct.
"Michael", I replied, wondering what was coming next.
"Who else", muttered my husband, under the covers.
The light went off and so did she. We listened. I got up and guided her back to her apartment, wondering how we would manage, assuming that this would get more and more frequent.
At that time, she was eating less than a teaspoonful of food at any one time, so I was constantly giving her something to eat. Like an infant, she couldn't make it through the night. Once I organized myself to prepare all her sweet foods with artificial sweeteners, made huge quantities of her favorite home-made soups and stews, and got a pain-killer with no aspirin, she began to settle down. A couple of times she went hunting for some cake or ice-cream left over from entertaining, and once she found a tin of icing. Each time she gorged herself - totally uncharacteristic behaviour - and each time she became totally disoriented, ferociously paranoid and viciously angry. Her behaviour proved that we were on track.
Later, the addiction to sugar wore off and she was able to eat a cookie or have some ice cream without having a reaction. As she improved, so did her appetite and she began to have more energy, and the headaches were less severe. She still wanted to move back to Toronto and get a job, but she wasn't so likely to be awake to worry about it at 3 a.m. We were over the worst.
HINDSIGHT AND FORESIGHT
In reviewing our experience, I realize that my greatest problem was my total inability to know that a great many difficulties were temporary. As soon as we began to suspect, in consultation with the doctors, that my mother had Alzheimer's disease, we did as much reading as possible. As a result, I "recognized" much of my mother's very difficult behaviour as symptomatic of the disease. This, of course, led me to expect that it was permanent.
When a person loses a limb, or eyesight, or has a heart attack, we know that, along with physical care, help will be needed to enable the patient to deal with the non-physical consequences of the disease. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, it is that part of the person, the brain, which helps the patient "deal with" any other disaster, which is, itself, debilitated. No doubt it is because of this, that little or no effort is made to help the Alzheimer patient come to terms with the most devastating experience of all: consciousness that he is losing the use of his most precious power, the power which seems to distinguish him from an animal, the power to think clearly.
When I consider the many thousands of people who are now living through some variation of the trauma which we experienced, I feel I must struggle to express our experience and the conviction which derives from it, that help is both needed and possible; that behind the brain there is a soul which is not handicapped and which, despite its disabled instrument, manages to learn, to grow, to change.
Medical people, experienced with Alzheimer patients, commonly refer to "flashes of insight". I came to think of these precious moments as the parting of dark clouds that permits a brief burst of brilliant sunshine. In those moments, I saw my mother as she had always been. In addition, as we struggled with her problems, gradually her behaviour did change: the night wandering stopped, the rage abated, rebelliousness subsided.
Along with loss of memory goes the loss of the means for monitoring one's own behaviour. Everything is, in a sense, happening for the first time. Repetition is the natural consequence and must simply be accepted. There is, however, a kind of repetition that is different, which is symptomatic of a need. I discovered that, if my mother repeated the same question over and over in quick succession, it meant that there was something that was troubling her. It was usually not easy to figure out what was the real need. It required an investigative approach. The following story is an illustration.
While I was packing my mother's things in preparation for her move to St. John's, she told me a story that I had heard, once a year, all my life. My mother liked to tell stories about her family, and I had always accepted these stories as a kind of reminiscing that gave her pleasure. This time, however, she told it every five minutes, seven times in a row. I became worried, then desperate, then curious: what is she after? What does this story really mean to her? What is the problem?
The story took place during the First World War. Her father had already died, and the family doctor blocked her eldest brother's attempt to enlist because he felt that their mother needed him to help look after the family. One day, a woman on the street put a white feather, the symbol of cowardice, in his lapel. Each time my mother finished telling the story, she always said she didn't think the doctor had the right to interfere in her brother's life like that. It was the repetition of this objection that made me realize, after all those years, that my mother was still deeply troubled by this experience.
Knowing that my mother had absolutely no awareness of the repetitions, nor any memory of my previous responses, I became more and more daring in my attempt to set her heart at rest. Finally, it occurred to me to challenge her:
"Mom, who do you think you are? God? How do you know what would have happened to your brother if he had enlisted? What if he had been wallowing in the mud in the trenches? Now she was absolutely still, quiet, and intently listening. What if he had lost a leg, or had been blinded?
She jumped. Her own recently deteriorated eyesight was a dreadful trial to her.
"Oh no! That would NOT have been better."
My mother never again told that story. Through thinking about the experience differently, the source of the upset was removed. Once my mother had reconciled herself to her brother's experience, she could let go of it. How many of us have negative experiences that we cling to, never doing the work necessary to let go of them?
MY VIEW OF MEMORY
Gradually, I came to think of memory as a lake from which we draw what we need as we need it. When we are healthy, this process happens so quickly and easily that we are totally unaware of it taking place. We "understand" without consciousness of how many memories supplied us with the necessary information with which to understand.
I never gave much thought to the function of memory until I was involved, daily and intensively, with the care of my Mother. Her memory was already failing and this was a cause of embarrassment, even humiliation. With consummate skill she hid her declining power. On occasion, she would attack the one who observed that she had "forgotten", would project that it was a handy way for her to be "blamed" for everything. The issue of blame became central; it was important to "blame" others who came into her apartment and "took" or misplaced things. Paranoia is the defense of the defenseless, passionately wanting "out" of the responsibility for this terrible situation.
When memory fails, independence becomes impossible. With Alzheimer's disease, it becomes difficult to think; judgment is impaired through lack of available information. But the reality of a person is his thought, not his body. If his capacity to think is undermined, what remains? Of what use is he? How can he communicate, sustain relationships, know how to be?
Imagine what it must feel like to apprehend that the lake that you have always relied upon is slowly abandoning you. Imagine trying, with impaired capacity, to think about your declining power to think. Imagine not being able to remember what it is you couldn't remember. Is it not reasonable to expect emotional and social disturbances to erupt as the patient struggles, helplessly and miserably, to live with this terrifying disability?
And what about the caregiver in all this? She, for usually the caregiver is a she, is the one who claims to "know" and who, by remembering, makes you conscious of all that you have forgotten. The first choice is so obvious: her or me. Unable to bear the responsibility, feeling that everything is going wrong and is terribly unfair, you choose to blame "her" and "them". Bewildered and upset, the care giver needs help; the professionals understand; everyone who has ever cared for Alzheimer patients understands: it's the illness; don't pay any attention; the patients often go through severe character changes; just try to be patient; don't confront them; lie to them if you need to - they won't remember anyway...
It is entirely understandable, well-meaning, kind; but this sort of advice doesn't help. Not in my experience anyway.
Does anything help? Well, there were things that helped me. It took months, even years sometimes, to figure out some of the simplest things.
Caregivers, we need to talk to one another in a new way, trying to answer different questions: Is there any way to make up for the lake when it starts to drain? Is there any way to escape from the habits of defensiveness and blame? What helps both patient and caregiver to deal with painful emotions such as helplessness, anger, loss, loneliness, and confusion?
PROVIDE A RIVER OF INFORMATION
Gradually, I came to understand my most important service to my mother: to replace that lake of memories with a river of relevant information. How do you decide what information is relevant? This is an important skill; one that takes effort, reflection, practice and time to develop. It is one of the ways in which Caregivers could learn from one another. The loss of memory generates a forest of fears; most of those fears must be common to a great many Alzheimer patients. Perhaps the most common one derives from having forgotten where you are.
I find the following story particularly encouraging because it indicates that what I have learned from working with my own mother, is also effective for others, working in a hospital setting, on occasional visits.
One September, in the company of two young friends, I visited a woman in an advanced stage of Alzheimer's disease, her body rock-hard with tension, her face anxious, and her manner angry. I watched, as the two young women visited her, and noticed, immediately, the repetition:
"I don't know where my home is."
Immediately I set to work to try to understand the real meaning of the question and to discover the needed "real answer". This woman once owned a beautiful home; it had been sold. She now lives in a hospital that will never be her home. Her memory has peeled back into childhood; her emotional responses are often those most characteristic of a child. When a child does not know "where my home is", that child is LOST.
My first thought was that this woman no longer had a home. This woman, a Baha’i, had a picture by her bed of 'Abdu’-Baha, the Son of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, for whom she felt great love and trust. Had she been a believing Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, or Muslim, I would have chosen some other appropriate religious figure. Had she had no faith, I would have chosen a relative. For her, I chose `Abdu’l-Baha.
When I was leaving, I did what I had learned to do with my mother; I gave her all the information she needed:
"Laura, I am Elizabeth Rochester. I have known you for forty years. I am going home to Newfoundland, which is a long way away. I want to say good-bye."
She watched me with rapt, motionless attention.
"I don't know where my home is."
"I know, and it is all right. `Abdu’l-Baha knows where you are and, when the time is right, He will come for you and take you home."
She watched me with the same intentness I had so often seen in my mother's face and I had the sense that she understood.
Six months later, I saw those same young women at a meeting. I asked if the woman's body was still rock-hard. Apparently, she had relaxed. Following my example, these two had repeatedly responded in the same manner. Recently the woman's teeth had to be extracted and her gums stitched; she was in misery; she turned to the picture and said:
"It is time now. It is time for me to go into the picture."
The soul makes its own accommodation. It may not be accomplished as we would accomplish it, or expressed as we would express it. Nonetheless, this woman has relaxed; she is ready now to welcome death. Is this not better than the anxiety, fear and endless tension of being lost? Is it not possible that "wandering" is not so much a symptom of Alzheimer's disease, as a symptom of what happens emotionally when the brain can no longer remember where home is, and the feet take over the unending search?
The following is another example of how loss of memory can affect behaviour. My mother, who had always been a very sociable person, soon began to refuse to receive visitors or to go out of the house. It is commonplace to explain such a change of behaviour as being a symptom of the illness. But changes in behaviour may be reversible if they are simply symptoms of unmet needs. As I became better at anticipating and meeting my mother's needs, she became more able to behave.
For instance, whenever we were going out to a meeting, I would explain, frequently more than once, that everyone knew that she couldn't see very well, that no-one would expect her to recognize them or to know their names, and that, to the best of my ability, I would let her know what she needed to know. This gave her enough assurance that she stopped refusing to go out.
My mother developed wonderful ways of disguising her loss of memory: she referred to everyone as "our friend". This included our daughter, Fiona, who lived at home. Fiona developed the easy habit of introducing herself to her grandmother every time she approached her:
"Hello, Nanma, this is Fiona."
Gradually, we taught close friends of the family to take the same approach. Later people marvelled at the graciousness with which my mother welcomed people to our home.
One very sad advertisement about Alzheimer's disease ends with a child gloomily looking out at the camera and saying: "Grandma doesn't know me any more". Undoubtedly, such lack of recognition must be a deep sorrow for any child, but if the child is taught how to understand the nature of the illness and to help the grandparent in a variety of ways, both child and grandparent could be much happier, and become able to relate to the problem very differently.
In the early stages of the illness, there are a great many ways in which a river of information makes it possible for the patient to continue to understand, to think, to choose. It is in these early stages that trust needs to be established, that the patient needs to learn how to depend on others, to accept help, to find a new basis for self-respect, and a new commitment to make the kind of efforts that will make love, laughter, and happiness possible.
How often do we see a man, poor, sick, miserably clad, and with no means of support, yet spiritually strong. Whatever his body has to suffer, his spirit is free and well! Again, how often do we see a rich man, physically strong and healthy, but with a soul sick unto death. It is quite apparent to the seeing mind that a man's spirit is something very different from his physical body. The spirit is changeless, indestructible. The progress and development of the soul, the joy and sorrow of the soul, are independent of the physical body. (‘Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 65)
By Susan Gammage, Labrador, Canada
I was interested to see the section in the December, 2002 issue of the newsletter on organ donation. I've always wanted to donate my organs on my death, but when I was living in a small community three hours north of a major medical centre, I learned that if I died there, they would keep my body on life supports, ship me three hours away, harvest the organs and then ship me back for burial. This called into question where the location of death would be, and could I actually do this, given the fact that the body would be moved for more than an hour. I wrote to the National Centre (of Canada) for their guidance and this is their response:
"On the matter of donation of one's body for medical research after death, Shoghi Effendi stated the following in a letter written on his behalf on 22 March 1957. . .
"As many people make arrangements to leave their bodies to medical science for investigation, he suggests that you inquire, either through some lawyer friend or through some hospital, how you could do this, and then make the necessary provision in your Will, stipulating that you wish your body be of service to mankind in death, and that, being a Baha'i, you request that your remains not be cremated and not be taken more than an hour's journey from the place you die."
They also said "In light of the guidance and your understanding of the transportation of the body at the time organs are harvested, your decision regarding [withdrawing] your organ donor card would seem to be sound.
DEALING WITH KIDNEY DYSFUNCTION
By Jean Owen, Wales, United Kingdom
I wish to reply to the reader whose mother has kidney disease (December, 2002 issue) as I think she may have the same problem as me which is called IgA Nephropathy. There is information about this condition on the web but it is frightening in that it says there is no cure. However it gives some good advice in recommending lots of fish oil, vitamin E, medication to reduce blood pressure and sometimes tonsillectomy. The condition is caused by too much pressure in the kidneys which forces large protein molecules through the tiny filtering system in the kidneys, thereby causing more and more damage. You know if you have this particular disease if you have very dark, almost black urine during an upper respiratory tract infection.
I am taking both the conservative and complimentary approach by taking Trandolapril, 1mg daily for blood pressure, (this actually reduces the pressure in the kidneys and thereby reduces damage as much as possible), 5 high potency fish oil capsules, Vitamin E capsule as well as herbal medicine prescribed by a herbalist. All this seems to have made a good improvement in the condition. It is extremely important to avoid getting colds and flu as this has a detrimental effect on kidneys so I take Echinacea, a good multi vitamin in the winter and lots of vitamin C at the first sign of a cold, however vitamin C can cause damage to kidneys so it is best taken only when needed. It goes against my principles to take any kind of drugs but in this case I feel that the blood pressure pills are necessary.
By using Albu Sticks (little sticks which test for protein in urine) I have found that cutting down on meat and lentils is of benefit which means using dairy products and eggs for protein. I have had this illness for about 4 years now and have tried many different remedies but have settled for this combination.
Alzheimer Society of Canada www.alzheimer.ca
Canadian Down Syndrome Society http://www.cdss.ca/
Disability Weblinks (Programs, services and contacts across Canada)
In the summer of 2002, The Disability Resource Council, Guelph, Ontario, Canada produced a new publication! The international newsletter CMT...today will hopefully pick up where retired publisher Linda Crabtree left off. As the founder/editor of CMT International and the CMT newsletter, Linda was devoted to creating a global community of those with CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), and sought to keep them updated on new research and developments. Editor-in-chief and DRC founder Susan Wheeler who lives with CMT was a long-time subscriber of Linda's newsletter, and decided that the continuation of such a resource was necessary in order to keep individuals with CMT informed and connected. Thus far, reader response has been nothing but supportive! If you wish to be added to our mailing list, write to: email@example.com.
Report of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) by the World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/ncd/disability
CBR seeks to achieve rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and social integration of children and adults with physical, sensorial, psychological and mental disabilities. It also aims to eliminate stigma and increase the recognition of disabled persons as resourceful members of societies. It is implemented through the combined efforts of disabled people, their families and communities and the appropriate health, education, vocational and social services.
The CBR assessment calls for increased participation of disabled persons as role models, self-advocates and employed experts in CBR programmes. According to the assessment, "...CBR programmes largely continue to regard persons with disabilities as beneficiaries and not as participants with a voice and a choice."
"We hope that this report will be used as a source of inspiration and support. It is through the participation and involvement of disabled persons in CBR programmes that their quality of life can be improved," said Dr Enrico Pupulin, Co-ordinator, Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organization.
The Meaning of Life Course
Study Course entitled -The Meaning of Life - which is available in 14 three hour Video Tapes with 218 page Course Support Notes was approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of U.K. Contact for more information: Mr. Khosro Deihim, http://www.jenks.demon.co.uk/gt.htm, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
The focus for the upcoming issues will be on how to improve accessibility in the Baha'i and surrounding communities for persons with disabilities, illnesses and diseases of various kinds. This may include removing physical barriers, changing our attitudes and providing relevant support or available technology to ensure that everyone is a part of community life. Working together to provide basic information and accommodations as well as typical solutions will hopefully enable those struggling with a disability or illness to be involved in the community. After all, we all have disabilities/struggles of various forms. This information may also apply to the workplace. We will continue this consultative process.
Some of the disabilities/illnesses we will consult about are (if there are others missing, please let us know):
- Hearing Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Mobility/Physical disability
- Learning Disabilities /Attention Deficit Disorder
- Developmental Disabilities
- Brain Injuries
- Physical Illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, heart condition, back impairment, Alzheimer's, etc.
- Psychiatric Disabilities/Mental Illness
For the February issue, we will focus on Psychiatric Disabilities/Mental Illness. We will cover the topic of Borderline Personality. Please share your experiences, stories and comments on this subject. We look forward to learning from you!
You can visit the website, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at: http://www.healingthroughunity.org.
PURPOSE OF THE NEWSLETTER
"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to physical and spiritual health. Other than the quoted Holy Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article.
There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Ontario, Canada. Please send your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to Frances Mezei by e-mail: -- .
Many thanks to all of you who send such wonderful contributions for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.