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October 24, 2003 - Image 84

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEW ARR

VALS

Jewish Book Fair

Unconventional
Cures

Ina Sushin-

Andrea Weiss & Wendy Franklin

Facialist
formerly of Papillon

Nail Technicians

Author offers guide to alternative medical strategies

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and explores the new wave of integrative medicine.

E

JOANNA BRODER
Special to the Jewish News

fight years ago, Roanne
Weisman, a working mother
of two, awoke from fairly rou-
tine heart surgery to
learn she had a stroke during the
procedure that rendered the left
half of her body paralyzed.
Weisman's doctors weren't sure
she would ever walk again.
Frightened and confused,
Weisman began the conventional
course of rehabilitation, including
physical and occupational
therapy. After a few
months, although she had
some improvement in her
left leg, her left arm was
still quite weak. Weisman
couldn't pick up small
items, like coins, and felt
unsteady on her feet.
Her doctors told her
that she had "plateaued," and would
probably never get any better. They said
she would have to adapt and learn to
live within her limitations.
Adapting would have meant buying
Velcro for her shoes — so that she
wouldn't have to tie them — and but-
ton-hole fasteners. Because she could no
longer type, Weisman might lose her

thriving Boston-based communications
consulting company.
"I was 43, had two young children and
a freelance career, and I needed to not be
disabled," Weisman said from her home
in Newport, Mass.
Soon thereafter, as
Weisman was practic-
ing occupational ther-
apy exercises, strug-
gling to pick up tiny
balls of putty and
place them back down
5Ur
at specific points on
her table, she visual-
ized a road that forked
in two directions:
One road had the
label of "Despair,
Disability and
Invalid"; the other road
said, "Fight Back."
Roanne
"I didn't know where
Weisman the 'fight back' road
led, but I knew if I
went down the other road and gave up, I
would become an invalid," Weisman
said. "When you're very sick, when
you're at the lowest point of despair, you
realize that no matter how much people
around you love you and want to help
you, in the end you are the one who is
going to have to take responsibility for
what happens."

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