November 26, 2006
Heroes with a Thousand Faces
We received the following press release for this absolutely fascinating book, Heroes with a Thousand Faces. Some of the information and personalities presented in this new book are also highlighted in the musical Let's Face the Music previously profiled in an earlier blog entry.
Imagine if we had to wear our imperfections like labels on our faces every day, all the time – in photos, at formal events, interviewing for a job, and meeting someone for the first time. What if there were no hiding our imperfections? No doubt we would struggle with feeling self-conscious and we would constantly wonder how we were being judged by others.
In her book Heroes with a Thousand Faces, writer Laura Greenwald introduces us to people who were born with severe facial deformities or whose faces have been changed forever because of injury or disease. Their stories are at once heartbreaking and hopeful. They teach us all the definitions of patience and perseverance.
One young woman, Melissa, has undergone forty-two surgeries in nineteen years to try to correct issues affecting her face since birth. After surgeries, she refused to look in the mirror for days. “She wouldn’t look in the mirror,” her family says, “because she wouldn’t know who was going to be there.” Today, Melissa advocates for education and understanding for people with facial deformities. “I wish parents would educate their children that we’re not all the same. I wish parents would tell children what’s wrong and not just tell them not to stare.”
From a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how prosthetic noses, acrylic eyes, and other replacement parts are made, to the headline-grabbing debates about facial transplantation, Laura Greenwald challenges her readers to look beyond physical appearances and to see the heroes within.
A portion of the author’s proceeds benefits programs to support people with facial differences.
Order Heroes with a Thousand Faces from BN.com or Amazon.com, or by contacting Strauss Consultants at 718.625.9382.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Greenwald writes and edits medical publications. She is manager of physician and consumer communications for Cleveland Clinic.
November 09, 2006
Need information for family of infant with severe oral and facial hemangioma ...
Q: Need information for family of infant with severe oral and facial hemangioma ...
A: Here is some information on planning dental care, finding financial resources, and more information.
It may not be an issue right now but the oral involvement of the condition may be significant. This will depend on the location and severity. It is strongly recommended that the child should receive an oral evaluation at age 1. Any dental work requiring block or infiltration anesthesia may be a problem for this child. Therefore, prevention is the key. Please consider tooth brushing using wash cloth or soft brush daily as soon as teeth are present. Give special attention to oral hygiene for this child.
Having a child with special needs can be overwhelming. The family should discuss their concerns and needs with a social worker who will likely know of resources. If help is needed to care for the baby or its medical treatments, the family should be able to get on Children's Special Health Care Services (a medicaid program). If the services are not covered, they should talk to Patient Relations who can assist them in obtaining charitable status. The child may also be eligible for Children Special Health Care insurance provided by the state, if they live in the United States. Typically, the physician who made the diagnosis submits the application on behalf of the patient. It takes 8 weeks or longer for review and approval. Family will be contacted to provide additional information during the review process.
For more information about financial resources, please see our web page on this topic.
Let's Face It: Financial and Insurance Information: http://www.dent.umich.edu/faceit/lifestyle/financial.php
First, take a look at the Let's Face It page on Vascular Birthmarks. (FYI, the recommended book, Gianna's Wild Strawberry, is about to be released in a second edition. Watch Amazon for more information!) If you want more information for patients, you might want to also look at the Resource page from the Hemangioma Treatment Foundation.
November 03, 2006
Books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials
This series is not particularly happy or upbeat, and whether it is inspiring will depend on the individual. From many perspectives it could be considered provocative.
While the three books discuss a variety of important sociopolitical themes, the one most relevant to this blog is the consideration of personal attractiveness. Uglies is set in a post-apocalyptic future. To protect the world from another collapse and to encourage all peoples to treat each other as fair and equal, they have come up with a strategy -- require all people to be equally attractive. Yes, really -- compulsory cosmetic surgery at age 16. If you run away, they hunt you down and bring you back. At the same time, they use brainwashing techniques and peer pressure to persuade people that they really want these surgeries. Not quite halfway through the first volume, one of the characters asks, "But what if I want to keep my own face?"
As I said, a provocative work. It doesn't entirely answer the question for you, although you can see the author's sympathies glinting through the discussions.