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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal 
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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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From Kathleen

I asked Kathleen if she would be kind enough to pen a blog post for the site.  Below she describes how she found us and what she learned.  Please welcome Kathleen, our first ever guest writer...

In case you missed Kathleen’s story... here it is.  If you already are acquainted with her story read on...

Hello Arden’s Day Readers,


I am currently a graduate student in clinical psychology and am working on my doctoral dissertation. My interests lie in the field of pediatric psychology, which means that I am interested in working with children who have physical illnesses. Psychologists can be very helpful to those in medical situations whether it be through helping them cope, helping them adjust to a new life, working on medication adherence, and serving as liaison between the family and the doctors. Despite the services that psychology could be offering to the medical field, many medical professionals do not choose to include psychologists in their treatment teams. This is due to a variety of reasons but the reason that I am focusing on is that physicians simply do not understand what psychologists could do to assist them. This is a problem that could be remedied during medical school and I have begun working on a project to see if giving a presentation on psychology to medical students could change their attitudes and intent to work with psychologists in their practices. 


My presentation presents several different pediatric illnesses and describes basic psychological services that could be helpful with that disorder. I wanted to put a human face to the disorders that I was talking about so I began an internet search for videos showing the psychological and social impact that having chronic illness has on children and families. This is when I stumbled across Arden's website and her videos. They were exactly what I was looking for as they show how much work goes into caring for a child with diabetes, how scary it can be for parents, siblings and the child, the trauma that it can cause to children who may not fully understand what is going on, and the unfairness of such a young child and her parents dealing daily with needles and "carb counting." Medical professionals often are so focused on the biological aspects of disorders that they forget that the disorders have effects that are more far reaching than just a physical problem. 


I want to support what Scott has said about the butterfly effect and the importance of speaking out. I am hoping that my presentation will at least get medical students to pay attention to all sides of having a disorder, and the presentation may also inspire a student to work further on one of the disorders. I myself did not completely understand the rigor of having a child with diabetes but Arden's videos have stuck with me ever since I have seen them and that is what leads to change. You never know who you will reach with your efforts!


I want to thank Scott and Arden for allowing me to share her videos in my presentation. I feel that these videos are by far the most effective part of my presentation and I hope other people will begin sharing their experiences as well.



I am very gratified by what Kathleen has done and encourage all of you to follow her lead and be an advocate for Arden.  You can start today by joining Arden’s 2008 team to find a cure or making a donation to her walk.

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