My Singing Angel

by Jane E. Babin (This was originally published in Cell 2 Soul in 2006) When I entered Massachusetts General Hospital last April to have a feeding tube placed in my stomach, I was very apprehensive. Don’t get me wrong. I had every confidence in the surgeons and staff at this prominent facility. Also, this procedure is done routinely. My cause for concern was my ALS, aka, Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the time, I had not yet had my tracheotomy. Because ALS is a neuromuscular disease that had begun to affect my diaphragm, I was afraid of any sedation that could compromise my already weakened ability to breathe. Try as they … Continue reading


Hand of Angel

“I Want Too Hold Your Hand” by Corinne Viens. Abstract:  Dermatologists perform many minor surgical procedures on patients who are often anxious and/or needle-phobic.  The simple act of holding a patient’s hand during the injection of local anesthetic has a calming and therapeutic effect.  This essay is the personal experiences of a professional hand holder and her reflections on this service to the patient. Keywords: minor surgery, surgery, anxiety, needle phobia, hand holding, comfort, dermatology In the dermatology office where I have worked for nearly twenty years, I often hold the hands of patients while the doctor administers the local anesthesia prior to their procedures or, if they are exceptionally … Continue reading

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