Judith Nitchie, CMT, LMFT

To make an appointment or for more information call me at (415) 665-5220.  You can also send me an email here.

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Friday
Jul032015

Just a Flesh Wound

When I think about the Double Dipsea trail race on Mt. Tam, I think about the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Monday
Jun222015

Inaccessible accessibility...making it real

The perfect storm. Both north and west sidewalk ramps were blocked. A car completely obstructed access to the closest driveway. The ramp offenders, weird irony, were abandoned police and fire department vehicles. Presumably whatever incident called them to the neighborhood had been resolved. The drivers were nowhere to be seen. This man was stuck. I stayed.

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Friday
Jun122015

Anniversaries and Holidays

Thursday before Martin Luther King Day in January, I woke in an inexplicably ratty mood that persisted through my morning routine: breakfast, coffee, eventually to the gym. Midway through my workout, chatting grouchily with a gym pal, I realized the source of my off-mood: a year earlier I saw my sister alive for the last time.

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Saturday
Jun062015

Those Dang Placards

Anyone who lives in San Francisco and has spent 45 minutes or more circling in ever-widening blocks to find parking at the end of the day or just to run into the store for that one item, knows the frustration of those restricted parking spaces and blue curbs and those healthy-looking people getting out of their cars...and not even feeding the meter. I would guess that I am not the only one who has ever wondered, "What did she do to get that placard?" or "Is he really disabled?"

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Sunday
May312015

Caring and Complaining

'Noble' has an image problem. It brings to mind beautiful colors and music, clear outlines, pristine air. Noble is a mess. Noble is dirty, tedious, and untidy. Noble is the gritty work of providing care for another human being with all his messy, smelly functions.

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Monday
May252015

The Big 'D'

Depression, even in serious illness and near the end of life, is not normal and responds to treatment.  

Steven Pantilat, MD, Director, Palliative Care Program, UCSF 

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Monday
May182015

Unwinnable Fights

Shirley goes round and round in therapy about how her husband doesn't understand what it is like to live with constant pain; that he doesn't understand how awful it is when her legs start to spasm and she can't get herself around the kitchen; that he doesn't get it about not being able to drive, about losing big pieces of her independence. And her family, too: nobody knows what it is like to be in her body, suffering as she does. None of them has any idea what it's like for her. They just don't get it.

I finally tell her, "You are right. He doesn't. They don't. They can't."

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Saturday
May092015

Form follows function

There's a rather long talky part in the service I attend on Sunday mornings. The prescribed posture is to stand during this, showing respect for the solemnity and significance of the ritual.

One of the variables of my M.S. is that even on a day when I can walk long distances, just a few minutes of standing in one place can leave me utterly fatigued. Walking, running, skipping, or even a vigorous workout at the gym might all be possible, but to stand in one place can be torture.

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Sunday
Apr262015

How to Receive

Greg Walloch is an actor and a comedian. He has Cerebral Palsy and walks with two canes. Through his story telling and comedy, Walloch addresses situations that we can all imagine: navigating an airport, taking an acting workshop (maybe we can't all imagine that one), dating.  Sometimes ordinary tasks and activities are made more challenging because of his disability. Sometimes his abilities are thwarted by well-meaning but misguided strangers who create new obstacles.

In his story How to Receive he describes unexpected physical interference: a man tries to yank him up a broken escalator and an acting teacher becomes violent: "This woman is sitting right in front of me and she can't even see me."

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Sunday
Apr192015

White Canes and Wheelchairs

My new client is going blind.  He has zero peripheral vision. Retinitis Pigmentosis is a congenitally acquired disease that causes progressive vision loss. Joe keeps his white-tipped cane neatly folded up in his backpack. He has never used it, hasn't asked for training, doesn't want to learn. No, he doesn't want a guide dog either. That would be "giving in" he says. That would be "letting the disease win."

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