Friday, November 6, 2009

008 Part 2 of Chapter 4 "Patient and Family Responsibilities"

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November 7, 2009

Here's more of the story of one of his patients who was a pastor from Part 1 of this post (book notes in brown, my notes in black, without that bad, complaining attitude I've had:

"At other times, he had became so weak that he had to spend two or three days flat on his back in bed before he could carry on with his work." (pg 71)

Stop! This so reminds me of Charles Spurgeon's problems with depression. You can read the "Anguish and Agonies of Spurgeon" HERE. Continuing on with the book:

"He was, however, as are so many CFS patients, a definite overacheiver. As soon as he was able to get out of bed, he was out working on church duties, giving lectures in different parts of the country, attending parishioners and planning new projects. Since he lived about six hours from our Clinic, it was not possible for us to see him frequently, so every attempt was made to find a physician in his local area who was knowledgeable about CFS. As previously reported, those who would accept him as a patient seemed to have little knowledge of CFS, and those who were knowledgeable refused to accept him as a patient... He had to give up as many of his external church duties as possible and delegate wherever possible his internal church duties. Eventually, once he was able to regenerate his system, he could gradually return to his various duties. However, I do not believe that even under the best circumstances he should ever return to the full intensity of activities he was fulfilling when I first saw him. Admittedly, such an opinion is not what a patient wants to hear. In fact, this patient has had a difficult time accepting our diagnosis of CFS. Nature has a way of helping truth, however, and once he again fainted during church services, he had little choice but to accept the condition." (pgs 71-72)

"Probably the most common question asked me by those with CFS is, "Will I ever be normal again?"

His answer, in part:

"Your problem happens to be a weakness in the neurohormonal mechanism. Luckily, it is one we understand, one we can control, and in most instances one we can correct. It is necessary, however, for you to live more cafefully in regard to the various stresses of life than the individual with a stronger neurohormonal mechanism, somewhat in the same way that the individdual who has inherited a mild diabetic condition must watch his diet so that he does not ingest too much sugar." (pg 75)

"Unlike the true neurotic or basic nonachiever, the adrenal victim wants nothing more than to be able to do all the things his friends and relatives are extolling him to do. The fact is, he is physically incapable of accomplishing these tasks and will remain so until the basic underlying condition is remedied." (pg 76)

"... the most well-meaning friends and family members hasten the development of this disease. In fact, from my many years in treating this conidtion, I have concluded that the most difficult to resolve and the most prolonged of all stresses imposed on the CFS patient are those place there by friends and amily who are truly trying to be helpful." (pg 77)

What family and friends can do: Understand, Encouragement, Reinforcement.

"Friends should let him know that they understand his problem, that they appreciate his suffering, but that with the proper treatment and care he will improve. They should let him know that although he will have ups and downs - for this is the nature of the condition itself - he must not give up, but must continue his treatment... There is no end to the value of encouragement for the CFS patient, no end to the need for constant assurance that he is going to get better... When friends and relatives ask what they can do to help the new CFS patient, I reply that there are three things which they should give in full measure: encuoragement, encouragement, and more encouragement." (pgs 80-81)

"Because of the lowered blood pressure, and therefore lowered nutrition and oxygen available to the brain of the CFS patient, he has difficulty making decisions and discriminating among types of thearapy." (pg 81)

"if he becomes quiet and withdrawan, if his eyes start to look somewhat vague and glassy, he is being exhausted." (pg 85)

"He needs encouragement in the same way that a woman in love wants to hear the words, "I love you." A woman can never be told "I love you" too often, nor can the CFS patient be given too much encouragement. Even if you have told the patient an hour before that he is going to be all right, tell him again because it is on these words that he must live during an important part of his therapy program.... Let the patient know that he is on the right road." (pgs 87-88)

This last paragraph reminds me of how much Chrisitans need to hear the gospel over and over again. We don't hear it once, repent of our sin, and never need to hear of God's love and forgiveness for us. No! We need to remind ourselves of the gospel daily, sometimes hourly as we journey through this life before being with Christ. I think it's the same thing when someone we love is very sick. We don't try to ignore the problem at hand, nor do we brush it off and change the subject. We comfort, try to understand, and encourage. We don't give the Law, but Grace!

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The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack