1. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    intimate care for disability - kind of a poll

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ettina, Dec 22, 2011.

    One of my characters will soon be asked to guess which option his twin brother would prefer, so I thought I should get some idea of how most people would feel. So, if you acquired a severe disability and needed intimate care (feeding, dressing, toileting) from other people, who would you rather have do this care - a stranger hired to take care of you, or a close family member?
     
  2. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    for me i'd prefer a stranger because i won't know them. but then some care workers don't care or lose their temper after a while. plus you have to consider the finances. i'm sure plenty people would prefer their family to care for them.
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I think it'll help you much if you could come up with the answer yourself. I say this because the answer will give you insights in your character. This is your opportunity actually to understand your character. A weak character would certainly like his/her family to be around her for emotional support, over and above the physical help he/she needs. A character who cares a lot about how he/she dress and present himself/herself in public would certainly don't want anybody he/she knows to see his/her condition. A strong independent character would most probably want neither close people or strangers to help him/her in which case there will be forceful help. So, what is your character like or rather what do you want your character to be like? Think about it and find the answer.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a total stranger, if i could afford it and find one i would be comfortable with...

    i'd not want any family member to have to do it, as it could be seen by them as an onerous duty and/or interfere with their own life... if that disabled, with no hope of recovery, i'd much prefer opting out of life altogether, had i the ability to do so...
     
  5. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    That's so sad. I can't imagine any degree of disability that would make me decide that life isn't worth living - as long as I had my family's support.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Been there, done that - my relatives in this situation were more embarrassed by having a family member take care of those things than when the 'relief people' did it. Not only was it the relief's job (they weren't 'sacrificing' anything) but the relative wasn't reminded of how terribly their role in the family had been affected.
     
  7. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    My experience: A relative. The individual was young and that would make a big difference.
     
  8. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Family first when it comes to caring for someone's disability.
    A total stranger is second in my books.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I couldn't do anything for myself - yeah, that's no way to live, IMHO. I'd opt out, without question. Well, if, as in my mother's case, I had dementia or something like that and was perfectly happy in that little world, it might be different. But if in my right mind, knowing what I used to be and what I would never be again - no way in hell.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, a complete stranger. Not only because I trust that my family would find one that wouldn't treat me like crap, but I can make new friends and learn about someone I've never met before. Hell, I could ask him/her to introduce me to their friends and create an entire network of new friends. 8D That's always good.

    That, and, like others said, I wouldn't want to be a burden on my family. I would want them to live their own life, chase after their own dreams; not sacrifice everything to be my nursemaid until the day I die.
     
  11. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I guess that is how most people are.

    I'm kind of the opposite. I don't like pain, I don't like to be a burden, and I'm not so fond of life that I'd hold onto it at any cost -- or even at a moderate cost. If I were so incapacitated, I'd certainly prefer to die. In fact, I've told many people in my life that if I have so much as a broken leg with the bone poking out, and there's a gun around, I'd thank them if they put me out of my misery.

    Then again, I'm not exactly right in the head.

    Also, I agree with Manav. Let your character tell you.
     
  12. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Usually these things aren't choices. You suffer a disibility of some sort and end up in hospital where strangers do that stuff for you. Then they send you out in the community and the nursing follows. I have a friend dying of cancer in this very situation at the moment. Having said that I know she would not be happy to burden her family with these sorts of duties if she could avoid it. Of course the other thing that impacts on the decision of who does what is the financials, and if you have to hire a nurse because the system won't provide, as does happen, then family may have to pitch in. Often it comes down to other people's choices, not the patients.
     
  13. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    OK, maybe I should mention a bit more context.

    The two protagonists, Cheb and Zho'tal, are fraternal twins from a very poor family.

    Their people worship an evil scary god, desperately trying to keep him from killing them all. The most important people for this are monks, who go through an initiation where they gaze upon the face of their god. The experience warps them, causing various disabilities, but also giving them magical powers. Depending on the individual, they may come out mostly unchanged, they may come out in a vegetative state (these people are used as magical batteries by other monks) or anywhere in between.

    The talent for becoming a monk runs in families, and monk families are the elites of their society. So it comes as a big surprise when Cheb passes a pre-test and is given permission to train as a monk. He does so because they'll give his family money, even though he's terrified of going through the initiation. And he convinces the monks to hire Zho'tal to be one of his caregivers (it's considered beneficial for monks to have the support of a loved one immediately after their initiation, plus it's well-paying work).

    Immediately after the initiation, Cheb will be comatose for several days, and one of the other caregivers will tell Zho'tal something that convinces him to psych himself up to do Cheb's intimate care instead of letting the other caregivers do it for him. I was thinking of having them ask Zho'tal whether Cheb would rather have it done by a loved one or a stranger, but if the answer isn't almost universally 'family' then that won't work. (Unless their culture sees it differently, I suppose, but I'll need to think of how that fits into everything else.)

    Any other ideas for how they could convince Zho'tal that he should do this himself? It's intended as a big part of his character development.
     

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