Monday, May 14, 2007

An Intervention ?

It was a wonderful weekend, the twins had their 4th birthday party Saturday, we had good friends over for dinner Saturday evening, Mother's Day was excellent.
It was, dare I say, the perfect weekend. Nothing, even the fact, that I'm inside an office with out windows today and can't properly enjoy the sun is going to spoil my high.

Or so I thought.

One of my girlfriends, Tina, contacted me about another friend of ours,Ray. Back in the day, Tina, Ray and I were all extremely close - there wasn't a thing we didn't do together or know about one another.

One of our favorite things to do was to go out to eat together. Tina and I used to always tease Ray goodnaturedly about his eating habits . None of us ate completely healthily, but we'd laugh at the fact that regardless of what restaurant we went to Ray would always have a cheeseburger.

I knew Ray was dealing with high cholesterol and had been prescribed medication some time ago but now, according to Tina, his cholesterol is off the charts high (340), he has high blood pressure and was just diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and refuses to take his medication.

His reasons: taking medication every day makes him feel old and he doesn't want to be on medication for the rest of his life.

I'm shocked, suprised and at a loss. I can appreciate not wanting to take medication for the rest of ones life but if it will improve the quality of life then take the damn medication!

Tina has presented every argument in the book to Ray - including the fact that he may not be here as long as he'd like if he continues in the manner in which he's doing now.
He doesn't seem to be phased. He just outright refuses.

What to do ?

I'm curious as to what you might do given the situation.

Naturally, its hard to see a friend, whom I care about very much jeopardize his own health. My inclination is to sit him down and let him know how concerned I am. But the reality of it is he is an adult ( a very stubborn one) and he can do as he pleases. Should I just keep my mouth shut knowing I'll get the same outright refusal and childish attitude and watch him slowly destroy himself or try harder and resort to more drastic measures ?


Butrfly4404 said...

That is so tough! I can't imagine even being in that situation.

When my grandpa found out he had lung cancer a couple years ago, he said he wouldn't get help. He was sure it was going to kill him and didn't want to spend the time in the hospital. Big difference: his cancer WAS incurable and he was SEVENTY.

Diabetes is completely treatable (and curable, in some cases, isn't it? I'm not sure!). To be willing to DIE rather than treat your disease seems completely absurd to me and I'm sure other people.

I don't think I could ever understand FULLY why someone would do that to themselves, but he obviously has his reasons, right?

I think if it were me, I would sit down and tell him "I care about you and want you to be healthy. If you refuse to treat the condition now, you will end up having people treat it for you - in the hospital - until you die." I would just lay it out, you know? And, because I'm cold, I guess, I would say "It's your life and if that's the way you want to live it, I certainly can't stop you, but I don't want to watch you suffer throught it." Like I said, I can be pretty cold. I know it. But I hate watching people suffer. Especially by choice.

I hope - if only even for your sake - he reconsiders.

Butrfly4404 said...

btw, my brother has a degenerative eye disease that will eventually make him completely blind and he refuses to take classes and stuff (like braille and keyboarding), so maybe that is kind of the same thing. And we? Just let him. Someday, he will become a blind man with no idea how to live and it will be up to his family to make up for it all. Hmmm...

Queen of the Mayhem said...

That is a difficult situation. I would probably have to at least give it a try.

Maybe go with the angle of how much you would miss him if anything were to happen. Let him know that you care about him and want him healthy.

It is certainly worth a try!

Good luck!

Brillig said...

My sister, at the ripe old age of 34, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and her options were to seek treatment or die. But even with treatment she would never be the same. She announced that she would rather die than seek treatment, to the shock and horror of her husband, her two little boys, and all of the rest of us.

Eventually, she DID seek treatment, but it had to be on her terms. I think she was really scared of turning her life over to the hospital and letting them do whatever. But she put herself in charge of her treatment and is doing really well now (four years later).

Another part of my sister's excuses was really that she was terribly depressed and death by cancer would be a way to escape, in her mind. Treatment would only prolong the pain she was feeling in her life.

I think people throw out excuses like, "I don't want to take medicine for the rest of my life" but there's a deeper underlying fear or problem that they're not telling you. A good conversation could get to the root of it. People don't like to be preached to. But they DO like to be understood. So maybe if your conversation is more along the lines of, "help me understand" rather than, "do THIS!" you may actually make some progress with him. Good luck. What a hard situation to be in!

whiskeymarie said...

I agree with Brillig. Usually people react like that because they are scared.
Scared of the medication/treatment, scared of having to change their lifestyle, scared of dying.
Keep working on him, hopefully he'll come around.
But ultimately it's his decision to make.

Lene said...

I take medication everyday - it really isn't a big deal. I think you should definitely talk with him.

I am with Brillig - there is probably something deeper to his not taking the medication.

Worker Mommy said...

Wow, Butrfly & Brillig- thanks for sharing your very personal stories. I'm glad your sister sought treatment, Brill, and is doing so well today! Butrfly I hope your brother will change his mind.
I agree that there is something more behind why he doesn't want to take his medication and definitely hope to explore that with him.
Thanks Queen , Lene & WM for your advice as well.

I'll keep y'all posted!