First Person: The therapeutic value of touch

photo by Jonas Vincent via unsplash.comThe first time one of my medical professionals touched me for comfort rather than during a physical exam, it was during my liver biopsy.  I was extremely frightened of the procedure, due to how painful I’d been warned the procedure was, and I was, and still am, slightly uncomfortable with needles (though daily Clexane shots sure sorts that out fast).  The medical team at the imaging clinic I attended had gotten in a second nurse, just to hold my hand during the procedure.  It was her 60th birthday, and she had been called in, literally, just to hold my hand.  I was incredibly moved by this, and incredibly comforted to have someone gently talk me through what was going on – to warn me to look away when the giant liver biopsy needle was brought out, helping me count holding my breath as the needle drew up the cancerous cells, and gently walking me to the recovery room after the procedure finished. It was one of the kindest things I have experienced with my medical professionals – and I have experienced more kindness than I can even recognise. Continue reading

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

photo by David Mao itsdavo

This week’s reading list features stories from around the globe.

Telehealth helps to facilitate home-based palliative care in Taiwan, in one of a series of EAPC blogposts about palliative care in SE Asia (Cloud-based platform for palliative care at home)

Tailored care for older patients with cancer in Latin America: an imminent challenge (British Geriatrics Society blog)

“Although it is unrealistic to believe that someday every older adult with cancer will be treated by a geriatric oncologist, we should make every effort to offer geriatric training to all healthcare professionals and to create bridges between geriatrics and other medical specialties.”

Health advocate and heart attack survivor Carolyn Thomas on the physiological and emotional response to the fear of dying during a heart attack. Continue reading