Case Study on Chronic Illnesses

Case study 1. The middle aged female nurse is a mother of two. She lives with her partner and has a possibly busy work life. Her work entails walking and standing a lot. Rheumatic arthritis makes it extremely painful to walk around and hold stuff. Rheumatic Arthritis causes her a lot of pain as she works. At home, pain is from bonding sessions with her family, personal grooming and doing house chores. (Peter, J 2006) Her behavior changes as she adjusts to her condition. She tends to avoid a lot of movement and strenuous jobs. She seeks more help at work from her colleagues. This makes her feel more dependent on others.

She does not have a comfortable relationship with her patients since she cannot attend to their medical needs, sit with them for longer and adjust their beds and pillows easily for comfort since she is under pain. At home, she limits her playing sessions with the children. She seeks more assistance from her partner than before. Her children have to learn to do simple jobs by themselves. They feel distanced from their mother and do not understand why. The mother sees these emotions and distance and emotionally, it hurts and drains her. Her partner has to play mum and dad to the children.

He is more tired than before. As a result, they can blame the wife for her sickness. Eventually, the nurse feels like she is a liability to the hospital and her friends. She feels lonely and less useful and helpless at home. She develops stress and anxiety. She is less social and happy. She puts on weight due to the depression and reduced muscle activity. Emotional breakdowns are manifest in new behavior such as high irritability, lack of or increased appetite for sugar and high calorie food, too much time spent watching TV or reading alone. Her cognitive responses change.

According to cognitive theory, she expresses her emotions as she feels them, be they positive or negative, mild or strong. This is responses can be manifest in some decisions she makes. Some of her decisions may be irrational. Alternatively, she can be over cautious when making decisions especially those that involve her family such as vacation destinations or simple errands such as going to the grocery store and eating out. Her children especially the 10 year old will notice the difference in mum’s behavior and being a teenager, rejection hits him/ her very hard. The lady locks herself away from society.

Only emotional therapy can heal the depression. She has to also undertake osteo-therapy to manage her arthritis. The medical attention is an added expense to the young family. With her strained working condition. Financial strain means a slight adjustment in their lifestyle. (Compton 2010 p. 139 and Kendal 2008) The need to live a healthy life to avoid conditions such as hers and other opportunist diseases such as cardio vascular infections arises. Eating healthy and exercising becomes part and parcel of the household’s life. The adjustment process will be an emotional sacrifice for all the parties.

Case 2. The 55 year old ex-marine has no family and is injured. The chest infection is septic and does not heal easily. He experiences trauma first from losing his job either due to illness or the war ended and he had to come back home. The indication that he does not have a fixed address shows that he does not have close family or friends to put him up. Alternatively, he had not invested in property in his young age. He therefore suffers alone, in pain and loneliness. Men react differently to depression as opposed to women. They engage in alcoholism and gambling or infidelity. He picks on alcoholism.

A quick solution to forget his misery but definitely not a solution to his loss and physical pain. He does not have any form of social therapy aside from his bar mates. Emotionally, he is lonely, sad and blames the world for his misery. His behavior changes from what it used to be at the army base. He is less social, self pity and guilt takes over. He may blame himself for his career and family choice and the government for not having a fallback plan for its marines. Grooming may not be overlooked as he still holds on to the discipline and daily routine of grooming at the army base.

As stated, he does not have any fixed address. He moves from one city to another spending his money on motels or hotels, liquor and women to console himself and get rid of the loneliness. If he succeeds to get over his depression, he can turn back the fate of his life. Get a job and family and live a healthy life. This is dependent on the help he gets from people around him or some life changing event that he could possibly experience. He lives his present life in past experiences. As an ex marine, it is difficult to adjust to normal life. One still has army lifestyle deeply embedded in them.

This study patient may exhibit either calm or violent and destructive behavior. The latter could explain his constant movement from one city to another. He may have problems with the law at some point. This forms part of is cognitive behavior where he cannot control all his emotions rationally. He is quick to use his muscles before he thinks through his reactions. (Compton 2010 p. 82) From the above, illness affect people’s lives in two ways, directly and indirectly. Direct impact is on the patient themselves whereby they battle the illness internally by themselves at first when in the denial period.

Once it becomes too hard for them to hold it together, the people around them afford them help. The patient, still in denial will go through trauma and go into social segregation for a while/ this is the depression stage. The faster they get help and respond to it, the easier the healing process will be. Indirectly, their immediate family, friends and workmates will have to take care of her. This interferes with their normal life processes. Aside from normal life activity alteration, there are financial consequences. This may be adverse or mild depending on the income level and severity of help needed by the patient.

In cases where the patient fails to recover from their depression, they get into deeper mental illnesses and may need more specialized attention. To avoid and manage illnesses such as those it the two cases above, healthy living is important. It the nurse’s case, rheumatic arthritis is a result of unhealthy lifestyle. This comes from feeding on too much animal protein that interferes with bone lubrication leading to corrosion of bones. Alternatively, it can be caused by the size of heel on shoes. The nurse is in flat comfortable shoes all day. Arthritis could be caused by her weight on her feet and too much animal protein or caffeine.

The ex-marine has wounds that do not heal. At his age, his body tissues repair slowly. He therefore needs to eat healthy meals.. He is an alcoholic. His priority for health is misplaced thus he cannot heal both physically and mentally unless he gets help. (Kendall 2008) Quality life measures that can be adopted include healthy lifestyle. This includes eating the correct food portions and regular exercise;

Frequent visits to the doctor for physical and mental examination. Avoid stressful situations and learn how to manage emotions. For ex-service officials and retirees, a system should be put in place to have them go through psychological adjustment to cope with their new lifestyle. (Schalock 1997, p 140) References .COMPTON, Michael T. 2010.

Responding to Individuals With Mental Illnesses. Boston : Jones and Bartlett Publishers. D’ADAMO, Peter J. 2006. Arthritis:Fight It With the Blood Type Diet. New York: Berkley Books. KENDALL, D. 2008. Sociology in Our Times. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning. RESTLE, F. 1975. Cognitive Theory. New Jersey: Lawrence Earlbrum Inc. SCHALOCK, R. L. 1997. Quality of Life: Application to persons with disabilities. Washington D. C. : American Association on Mental Retardation.

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