Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The new me

No, the post is not about YT. I'll get to it in a moment. In passing, I don't really have anything to add about current events except that it is obviously the case that cops in the U.S. have a license to murder Black men. No possible circumstance would seem to result in prosecution.

That out of the way, I'm working on a paper now about people living with HIV. I intended to find out how much biomedical understanding they had of the virus, its pathophysiology, and treatment, but all that turned out not to matter very much to them. When I asked people, "If you had to explain to somebody what HIV is, what did you say," I'd get a lot of answers about how it is transmitted. Other responses included "It means I made a mistake," "It's not a death sentence," "It's a disease like any other, you can learn to live with it," and so on.

For most people, it took a while after they got the diagnosis for them to incorporate the new reality into their self-concept. A few people never did. Some had very negative reactions at first: attempting suicide, drinking heavily. But eventually, they sorted into people who turned it into group A -- People who responded posivitely; they felt good because they were taking care of themselves, being a role model for young people, had grown in wisdom and goodness through the contemplation of their mortality: and Group B: they remained in guilt, or anger, or despair. And it was the latter group who were less likely to be taking the pills on regularly and on schedule.

It isn't very deep wisdom that we need to make lemonade out of life's lemons, I suppose. But I wonder how well aware physicians are of this very basic truth about illness and self-care. What we need is the magic pixie dust we can throw on the people and transform them into the overcomers.


Don Quixote said...

Yes, it's a shame that nothing has changed since Richard Pryor's 1979 album, "That Nigger's Crazy"--his routine on there concerning cops, and black folk ending up "accidents." Whether we talk about health insurance, racism, sex abuse, rape, education, whatever--and I say this as someone who's worked in the schools, business, etc.--we are truly the land of shit. We're sick, we're in pain, we blame, we project, we hate. We eat shit for food, watch shit for movies, listen to shit for music, have shitty health insurance, have shitty governing powers, and commit murder every day of the year around the globe. I feel like an accomplice because I pay taxes. If I could move to Canada legally I'd do it in a heartbeat.

robin andrea said...

I like Don Quixote's comment. We do live in the land of shit.

Interesting perspective about guilt and personal outcomes on illness.

Hasib Rahman said...

Wonderful!! If I had to add to your already great list, it would be just to say "Make a plan". I will need to do for them. To work more efficiently, you definitely need to plan ahead.
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