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The Helen Reddy Interview (Page 3 of 3)

An Interview with Helen Reddy

GB:   A lot of different diseases manifest themselves in ways that the health care system will pretty much just brush you off saying they know better. What did it take for you to keep pushing through to get the answers you were looking for?

HR:   I was being given placebos, and the doctor told my husband at the time that I should see a psychiatrist because I was convinced that there was something wrong with me.  Then I happened to meet Dr. Georgie who has since passed on.  She had seen it before.  She had actually been the one, I think, who had diagnosed JFK.  So, as soon as I told her that I had a kidney removed when I was in my teens, she said, “Did they take out the adrenal gland?” And I said, “Well, I have no idea.”  But she ordered all these tests and within four days, there was the diagnosis. Not only that, as soon as I was on cortisone, there was an immediate difference.  I mean, I was back to feeling normal again. I remember when I first went in there, she said, “So, you feel sick?”  I said, “No, I do not feel sick.  I just do not feel well.”  She said, “Then something is wrong.  Let us find out what it is.”

GB:   I think reading your book, and reading about what you have been through, that there is definitely a message for people not to think, “This is it.  I am in this life.  I am dealing with this.  I am suffering and there is nothing before, there is nothing after, and there is nothing I can do about it.”

HR:   You are talking about the feeling of helplessness. That is difficult.  But look, you can only take one day at a time.  I find caregivers are very reluctant to ask for help.  But I think sometimes you just have to reach out and say, “Look, I really need a day off. Can you possibly take care of my responsibilities for an afternoon?” or something along those lines because you have to fill the well.

GB:   Would you have one piece of advice that you would like to leave with family caregivers?

HR:   I would stress that life is eternal, that love never dies. 

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