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Ask Dr. Gott 12/06
Distraction is the best medicine
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DEAR DR. GOTT: A typical example: Confused resident comes to the nursing station and asks "Is my husband dead?" If one answered, "Now you know your husband died 10 years ago," the patient would argue.
    If we used validation therapy and asked, "What did your husband look like? How tall was he? What did he like to do?" soon, the client forgets what she asked! Good tool, sort of correlated with distraction, but it works well!
    DEAR READER: Excellent points. Thank you for sharing yet another way of managing advanced dementia. No matter how trivial, if we can provide a brief ray of happiness, we are doing our job to assist patients in dealing with their problems.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Alzheimer's Disease." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: At 73 years of age, I have suffered from arm and leg cramps for years. My sister, who lives in Virginia, read an article written by you last year.
    She called me right away (I live in Maryland) to tell me to try the liquid-soap treatment that you wrote about. On several occasions since then, I have been awakened in the middle of the night and used the liquid soap. It works! Each time, my cramps subsided in fewer than three minutes. I am so very grateful you wrote about it. The bottle of liquid soap is now a staple on my bed table.
    Since I started using it, I now only have to sit on the edge of my bed to apply it. No more walking the cramps off, only to have them strike again when I get back in bed.
    Bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    DEAR READER: I don't remember endorsing liquid soap as a cure for leg cramps. As I have written before, however, of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most. If the liquid soap works to improve your chronic problem, stick with it — and, by all means, try a bar of soap under your bottom sheet to prevent (not just treat) nocturnal leg cramps.
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