Maybe this was a friend

May 7, 2014 at 10:08 AM (Uncategorized)

Or a relation.  Or a stranger I heard about. I have to do the change the details thing to protect his privacy, but the story should be told.

What it must be like. To have had a body that not only did what you told it all the time, but also was very physically appealing.

( note: this next bit has to be conjecture and outside observation because the person in question does not do medical appointments of any kind. No Western medicine , no holistic alternative, nothing. It’s their choice and while I don’t agree it it has been made perfectly clear. )

Then with age came the following:

Untreated rheumatoid arthritis, untreated complications from hip surgery, tendonitis, hip deformities, as well as  untreated bipolar disorder with long long spaces between manic phases and depression. The depression at its lowest point is so deep  that they often disappeared into furniture.  Long silences, followed by years of fear of seeing or speaking to anyone who did not live with them.

After coming down from a high they did not fall all the way back into the depressive state of earlier years, so it’s my understanding that they are communicating well with folks and interacting and doing some outside activity.

Before this began, they were a controlling person who suffered from OCD. Those characteristics carried on through to the time of their ilness.

I also suspect that there is retention in the home of many many things that are bought. I do not characterize this as hoarding, because that conjures up images of dirt.
I imagine these many things stored neatly with labels, in boxes or other containers slowly using up the hidden areas of the house. From my understanding and main rooms of the house the living room bathrooms and kitchen remain clear and usable.

Nonetheless this is troubling behavior to add to all of their pain both physical and mental.

The first thing I think of when I think of how sad I feel for them is the physical pain. I can’t imagine rheumatoid arthritis and hip injuries going untreated for so long without them having an effect on my mental state. In my opinion this person has got to be going through enough physical pain that such pain would assist in driving the depression lower, their will to do even the most basic things lower. 

His family has a long history of depression, chemical depression a condition that needs to be treated with medication or at least talk therapy. So you take the physical pain and add the depression on to it and have it collide with a person’s implacable will that there be no treatment for such things…

Eventually of course there will be a Bad Thing that happens. That person’s choice to seek no treatment for either  their physical ailments or their mental problems means that no one can help them currently, no one can intervene presently so as to  lessen the chance of the future Bad Thing occurring.

But I recognize that this is the principle of autonomy at work. People must be allowed to make their own choices about how to treat their impairments.  I think to this person his ability to retain his own agency is the highest goal even above pain management, or treatment for mental illness. For this person autonomy trumps everything. It is difficult to watch .  But i watch and I wait because that is all I am able to do . Not just because I am here in captivity, but because their boundaries have been set as a high high wall around their actions that no one can breach.


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