Psychotherapy Out of Bounds

PSYCHOTHERAPY Out of Bounds, continued
“The chemo-therapy is usually cortisone. Cortisone is a naturally occurring stress hormone produced by the adrenal cortex, and its effect is, among other things, to settle down arousal or activation of the immune response of the body. When it is given as an exogenous substance (as a medication) it tends to lull the immune system. That reduces the irritability of body tissues, usually reduces the swelling (or ‘itis’) and thus usually reduces the pain. Over long maintenance use, it also lulls the immune system such that it may not respond well to infection. Infection may then spread, and that can be dangerous.
“If the chemo-therapy is not working well enough, the other choice available to physicians is mutilative surgery. The surgeon may go in and cut out the affected (NOT infected) part of the small intestine. If the pain recurs, he may go in again and again to cut out more and more of the intestine – IF the patient allows him to do so. Of course, as the intestine is thus shortened, it becomes harder and harder for the body to retrieve nutrients from the food it receives, and that may make the person weaker and weaker, and less able to cope in a robust way with the strains of living. Also, each time the surgeon cuts into the body it represents a serious and stressful insult to the system, as well as causing injury to which the body may react with other kinds of conditions.
“So what am I saying to you? Don’t do it! Let’s, please, think this thing through together.” For reasons Felicity never understood, Penny had always liked and trusted him. She was shocked at her misunderstanding of what the physician had told her. She was relieved by what she now had heard. But she was fearful that on this occasion Felicity had things wrong. She pleaded for some confirmation of what he had told her. So, together, they looked up some medical texts to be sure Felicity was right.
Once she felt she had confirmed and understood the information she had received, she asked what they could do about her condition. They started with ‘the basics’. Inflammation or swelling of any tissue occurs when the body’s immune system identifies a substance or object as being foreign. For example, some respiratory system cells can react to environmental substances (allergens) as if they were dangerous when they are not; some skin cells can stimulate the reaction if they become infected, and thus may form pimples; and some intestinal cells can produce that reaction to some kind of food or substance in the intestines, as in Crohn’s disease.

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