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Topic : 12/29 "Is This Normal?"

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Created on : Thursday, October 20, 2005, 02:47:02 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Airdate 10/24/05) Do you have a really strange habit? Are you in a bizarre situation and think you’re the only one experiencing it? Monica and Joe call each other names like "fat ass" and "ugly." They love their bad banter, but wonder if it's influencing their young children in a negative way. Then, Mary's husband had a liver transplant, and his medical bills are putting a strain on their marriage. Is it normal for her to resent the financial burden, or is she just being selfish? Plus, a new mom wonders how to raise her 4-month-old with her nudist fiance. Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.


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January 7, 2006, 7:39 am CST

Mary's test of strength...

This is the only guest that has ever compelled me to register and post a message. As I have read through the threads, I see that I'd missed the original airdate, but the replay of this show has generated continued response. Originally I would have voiced my anger, but I see that it's pretty much been covered. My immediate reaction to Mary's insensitivity was disgust with the approach that she had taken, she should have been ashamed to call herself a caregiver.  Mary was given the greatest test of strength and she was failing! Hopefully she is finding her way toward acceptance and hopefully some assistance.  

My husband, Michael, had donated a kidney to his brother 19 years ago. The transplanted kidney failed within one year. 12 years later, my donor husband was diagnosed with renal failure. Two months after we told his brother the news, his brother committed suicide. Michael spent 3 years as a dialysis patient while waiting for a kidney. It was only through the support and understanding of  his spouse that he was able to maintain a positive outlook. After 3 "false alarms" and 7 months on the top of the wait list, he finally received a new kidney. The abundance of joy was our reward. Seven weeks after his new kidney, he had a heart attack and died at 42 years old.  

In the three years that I have been a young widow, I never had blame for the patient, or his recipient. In the years that Michael struggled with the side effects of kidney disease, I never once complained. It was our problem, and we were grateful that we had each other - no matter what! If the shoe had been on the other foot, we didn't think that I'd be "as good" a patient, nor that he'd be "as good" as a caregiver. Our roles were defined and we accepted it as our greatest test of commitment.  He made our family strong. (The issue of uninformed consent & no follow-up of living donors to collect and share data to transplant centers and prospective donors and patients looms with me today, but that's for another show!)   


I would have liked to heard Dr. Phil offer some counseling options, or question the practices of the transplant center they'd used. Is there no patient advocate? In 1991, Medicare set guidelines to assist lung and liver transplant recipients - hasn't the transplant center given any guidance to this family? I don't know that this will ever get to Roger & Mary, but there should be some help through some of the resources I am listing below: 


Financial Assistance Resources* 

The following organizations may provide financial assistance to qualified transplant candidates or recipients and their families. 

American Organ Transplant Association  

(281) 261-2862 

American Liver Foundation  

(800) 465-4837 


Medicare Hotline  


National Transplant Assistance Fund  

NTAF has over 20 years experience empowering you to raise money in your communities to cover uninsured medical expenses related to transplantation and catastrophic injury.  

If you are an organ transplant patient, NTAF is available to help you to raise the funds you need to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance. 

NTAF will be with you every step of the journey – from the initial discussions about fundraising, through phases of active fundraising, through payment of medical expenses, and back through the cycle again as appropriate. 

The compassionate, professional staff at NTAF offers support at many levels – fundraising ideas and how-to’s, media relations, creating materials such as event flyers, helping set up a patient website, being there for you when you have financial questions and concerns – we are accessible and there for you. 

To begin the fundraising process, or to get more information on fundraising with NTAF call toll-free today! 1-800-642-8399 

National Foundation for Transplants, Inc.

American Liver Foundation (New York, NY) The American Liver Foundation is a national, voluntary non-profit health agency dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing hepatitis and other liver diseases through research, education, and advocacy. 

The American Liver Foundation is a national, voluntary non-profit health agency dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing hepatitis and other liver diseases through research, education, and advocacy.


American Liver Society  

The American Liver Society was founded by caregivers and patients to help other caregivers and patients and those that may become affected by a liver disease by providing them with useful information on topics of the liver. 


* This information was adapted from "Financing Transplantation: What Every Patient Needs to Know." United Network for Organ Sharing: UNOS. copyright 2002.  



January 25, 2006, 3:12 pm CST

Fears & Anxiety

My name is Donna.  For 2 years now I have had problems sleeping.  My brother-in-law was murdered in December of 2002.  When I realized it was a problem it was about March of 2003.  I was put on medicine to help me sleep.  It was helping but the job I have now is very stressful and again having problems.  It seems that everytime I know I have to go back to work I cannot fall asleep.  It seems to happen on Monday's and anytime I have a day off of work (holiday's, etc.).  Unfortunately, I am out of work at this time due to having surgery and the lack of sleep.  When I had said enough, was the day after a holiday and I never went to sleep, and at that time, visited my doctor and that's when he put me out of work.  Mainly for the surgery I need related to work. 


I fear now I notice when I know I have to get up in the morning for some reason, it's in my mind that I won't fall asleep.  I'm always worrying on how many hours I have left to sleep.  It is the worst feeling I have ever had.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  I need to know how I can fix the anxiety!!  I think for so long I couldn't fall asleep that now it's a regular issue. 


Please help!!! 

March 30, 2006, 3:08 pm CST

Normal, what is it?

My concern is that I am a time freak.  My entire day is allotted into little time windows.  I hit the floor at 6 am and all I think about on the way to the shower is how long it will take me to take my shower so I can make sure I have time to do everything else I need to do.  I'm 47 years old, this is not my first day to get up and get ready for  anything, and I do the same thing day in and day out.  So why is it a problem for me?   For whatever reason I am unable to function without having my day broken into little pieces of time.  I find it very difficult to finish a task if I don't  set myself a time frame in which to finish.  I find myself almost running down the halls at work to get back to my desk after going to the restroom, so I don't lose any more valuable time from my day.  I find that using the restroom is a waste of valuable time for me and I have to find ways to make up the time I lose while doing the necessary things.  Every thought that passes through my mind has some association with time.  I constantly watch the clock on my computer to see if it has the same time as my phone, and my phone must have the same time as my radio.  When I'm driving I watch  the clock to see exactly how long it took me to get from one stop light to another.  If I'm 36 miles from a destination, the the entire time I'm traveling I'm calculating and re-caluculating how long it will take me to get there.  When I get to my destination, I immediately start watching the clock so I know exactly when to leave so I can get home in the same amount of time it took me to get there.  By the end of the day I am so exhausted from chasing time that all I can do is think about sleeping.  But then it starts over, because I begin my night time routine by trying to figure out how much time I have to sleep before starting all over again in the morning.  If I get up for any reason in the night, I sit on the side of the bed and look at the clock in order to figure how much time I lost and how much more time I have before I hit the floor running after time again.   My husband gets very frustrated over the fact that I can't relax and enjoy anything because I am so worried about the time that it takes to do the simplest things.  I have been told my my friends that I may have obsessive compulsive disorder, but I tell them that I can't because I don't have enough time for it.  My daughter told me once that a doctor can give me medication for this, but I'm not sure that I want to be medicated.  I really don't know where to go with this problem, or for that matter I don't know if it is a problem at all.  There may be millions of people out there just like me and I don't know it.  If anyone out there can relate please let me know.  I am desperate to find some relief from my self inflicted time warp.
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