Monday, July 18, 2011

The frustration of knowing to much

My type of depression manifests itself as ruminating. Ruminating on the bad in the past or the bad that could occur in the future. The last weeks ruminating was about our neighbor and the ethics around inaction.

Early last week while I wandered down the road to dig out stumps I stopped and chatted to a bloke coming the other way. Turns out he is our neighbor. Neighbor in the loose sense of the word, more a resident of the Ohinewai hamlet. Talked for a bit, observed the lit cigaret, the missing front teeth and rather stilted talking / interaction. Assumed that he had lived a rather "hard" life and didn't think any more of it as I wasn't going to invite him around for a cup of tea (my friends only rarely get invited over as I am a rather private person).

A few days later got chatting to the old timer couple that we are buying the land from. Asked them about which local owned a ute that I had seen around a bit, and at their place. Turns out it was the guy I meet on the road. So they then tell me about his story. He broke his fore arm bones 18 months ago. And it has never healed. Apparently he can hold this wrist, pull slightly and his fore arm goes in length! The hospital / medical system have tried multiple operations (it is quite a saga/drama) and nothing has worked. Basically it is a mess and in my mind amputation isn't far away given the now heaverly degraded bone system.

This also explains the slightly stilted interaction I had with the neighbor, as he would have been doped up to his eye balls on pain killers. 

Now given the long list of operations and procedures the medical people have given him, and nothing has worked. This in my mind points to a nutritional imbalance. Something is missing from his body. Without fixing this deficiency I struggle to see any positive outcome.

So I ran through the following thoughts:

a) Frustration and anger at the medical system. Why hasn't he had a check for common bone healing minerals and vitamins. Surely a decent multi would help the poor guy, not to mention save a truck load of health care dollars given the high number of operations. Furthermore feel sorry for the guy and this family. He has been off work, no doubt a bit off mind to ! It astounds me how simple things can be so missed

The problem of course is that there is unlikely any studies looking at bone healing  and micro nutrient levels. If there are studies, they are likely to be pilot studies that medical staff cannot be convinced is "real" science.

I would love to take a regional hospital and put everyone who is admitted onto a good multi. Then compare outcomes to benchmarks. I am convinced there would be an improvement in recovery time, secondary reinfections, sooner discharge etc. enough saving should be made through improved health outcomes, to pay for the supplements.

b) Realizing that I should likely talk to the neighbor / his family. This is a potential mind field. You can't claim that supplement will help (because it might not), this claim would be taken very seriously if word got to the medical watchdogs. Furthermore a decent multi cost money. Given that (i) he is off work and (ii) smokes he is unlikely to have the money to spend. However on the other hand to not offer advice is dooming him to (almost) certain failure.

Complicating this is that I am rather introverted. Ironic given I love to speak to an audience. So it takes a large amount of emotional effort for me to go meet someone who is new, let alone someone who I don't really like. The two outcomes of a visit would be (1) rejection, my offer for help is rejected. This hurts! or (2) offer accepted and now I would be on tender hooks as I would be worried that nutrients wouldn't help.

Needless to say this lose/lose situation does excite me! Now the extroverts are probably wondering why all the dithering...... and the personal success people saying visualize a positive outcome..... neither of which I dispute. I will have another chat to Tiffany tonight and see if I can work though the issue

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