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View Diary: The Weaponized Lie of Self-Reliance (59 comments)

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  •  Im squarely in the 'you did this to yourself' camp (0+ / 0-)

    my mother in law found out in her late 40s that she had diabetes.  she was actually in really great health otherwise.  that deteriorated steadily over the next few years as she mostly ignored doing what the doctors told her to do about her diet.  

    she developed diabetic kidoacidosis and her life fell to pieces as it ravaged her body and nearly killed her numerous times.

    she was also having stomach pains that the doctors couldn't find a cause for, so, she was given a cat scan and they discovered a brain tumor.  she was rushed to a hospital for surgery.

    the physical shock of the surgery mixed with diabetes led to the loss of her sight and ability to walk.  she was being released on the sidewalk by the hospital when we were called and told what was going on and we flew her to where we lived to take care of her.

    we did our best to try to care for her, but she didn't have a job anymore or health insurance, so, we went bankrupt trying to pay for her medical bills.  finally, i kicked the door down at social services and made them give her SSI and health care.

    she required 24/7 care, mostly, just to keep her from getting her hands on food with sugar in it that could kill her.  she would get blood sugar at extreme lows and extreme highs, so, we were careful to give her food that would keep her as stable as possible.  

    but if we left, even for half an hour, she would get into food and it almost killed her numerous times.  numerous, because we didn't know what she was doing at first until we left and waited to see what she did when we left and watched her listening for a few minutes and then going right to the fridge where she would put her hands into anything and eat it.

    when we finally told her that she has to stop trying to get into food or she'll die she declared that she wanted to die.  that's when we called the police and she was put in a hospital for people who try to or threaten to kill themselves.  

    there she was given incredible medical care (some of the world's finest at that hospital in seattle) and it was all covered by a charity organization.  

    they took out her teeth, which were mostly infected, because she had rotten them out eating so much sugar for years.  getting rid of the infection in her teeth did a lot to stablize her blood sugar, (though it remains incredibly fragile).  they gave her fake teeth, which looked great on her actually.

    they put her in rehab and got her walking again.  they also got her eyes working after some surgeries.

    and then they got her a home to live in with 24/7 care.  she's late 50s and she's spent the last 6 years in a home, basically living like a child.  and now she's developing dimensia.  

    all because she really loved candy and cookies and pie and cake.  she ruined her life for treats.  

    i say all of that to say: yes, we live in an interdependent society, but that doesn't excuse anyone from personal responsibility.  it's fucked up when someone doesn't take responsibility for themselves and other people have to handle that responsibility for them.  

    your brother was half right, imo.  it was your mom's fault.  but he's wrong that it means that nobody should step up and make up for her fuck up.  we're not living in a jungle.  we're living in a civilization.  and as bullshit as it is to have to carry people who can but won't carry themselves, it's the right thing to do.

    but the people who are short sighted and fuck up and then depend on everyone to take care of them, whether they are smokers or sugar addicts or wallstreet banks, they should count themselves fucking lucky to live in a society that gives a fuck enough to bail them out.  

    not that i would say that to someone who's driven themselves into a serious physical ailment.  they already feel bad enough about what they did to themselves.  it's just cruel to tell them and make them feel even worse.

    banks on the other hand?  well, i protested their asses a couple years ago over their short sighted fuckupry.

    •  Self-destructive behavior (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, Egalitare, murrayewv, Chi

      is generally indicative of mental illness.  Sugar is a drug and addiction is self-medication.  Sadly, it sounds like your MIL struggled with serious mental health issues that were never adequately addressed.  Such is the abysmal state of mental health care in the U.S., even if you can afford it.

      Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -George Carlin

      -7.88, -7.64

      by socindemsclothing on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:37:08 PM PDT

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    •  I knew a man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      who was so driven mad by his diabetes and sugar restriction that he once ate a whole tray full of gladiolus corms. He had been a successful businessman, a little slapdash with his eating habits but not off on the tail of the bell curve, but diabetes evolved into dementia as you have described. I wouldn't have said that he was consciously responsible for his fate though.

      You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

      by northsylvania on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:15:17 AM PDT

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    •  Your story (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, Gay CA Democrat

      Cossetting isn't what anyone advocates, and that's one of the problems with this weaponized lie. We're offered a false dichotomy of self-reliance (which is meaningless) or "liberals" who "foster dependence." Your mother-in-law's last stop showed, more or less, her first problem: for whatever reason, she was suicidal and psychologically or physically addicted to rewards.

      You know the rats that would push the reward bar and starve? Well. . . those rats couldn't be accused of laziness or viciousness or any other moral quality.

      I'm doubtful of experts, and I'm doubtful of the language of addiction, where everything is addiction, but I came to the conclusion some time ago that someone who "only wants attention" needs attention for some reason, and it's best to find out why; the same would be true of the people whose joy is in the sugar.

      Everyone is innocent of some crime.

      by The Geogre on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:28:33 AM PDT

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