My husband had to have an MRI on his lungs and upper abdomen this morning to find out if his lung cancer has spread in that region. Anyway!! he insisted on walking into the lift and up to the xray dept wanting and needing to be independant,he refused to use a walker or a stick,I was by his side at the ready to support him if needed. I know he looks very thin,frail and shuffles along but I didn't expect the nasty comment that was aimed at me by another patient in the waiting room. She had the audacity to say to the other people (approx 15)in a very loud voice "He should be in a wheelchair?" "That is shocking for her to allow him to walk in his condition,can't she see he is very sick" At first I wanted a hole to appear and swallow me up and then I got so dare she judge me without knowing me or my husband. It took all my skills to calm down before I responded to this woman,and I knew I had to otherwise I would have gone home feeling resentful. When Rex had been called in to get his scan done,I went over to this person and assertively told her in a soft calm voice how very brave my husband is for wanting to walk on his own for as long as he can and that he is terminally ill (without going into details) and that I hoped with all my heart that anyone who thought it was shocking may look at the courage it takes to support someone who is very ill and to accept what they want. Honestly!you could have heard a pin apology but I wasn't expecting one.Lots of nodding and smiles from the other people though. Sometimes I just want to scream at these clueless people,it is hard enough to deal with all the day to day issues let alone be judged in such a cruel manner by a complete stranger.. Just wanted to share and ask if others have been judged/ criticised during caring for your loved one and how you dealt with it. Gentle hugs for all you brave people. Dotty
New Contributor
Dearest Lotty,I have worked in the aged care industry both in nursing homes and the community as a carer,the first golden rule I was taught was to always allow people to make their own decisions and in turn they were able to remain independent as well as keep their dignity. Your decision to support Rex to make his own choice not only helped him maintain his independence but most importantly his dignity.You are only to be commended for this it shows how strong and compassionate you are as a carer to a loved one and how in tune you are with Rex.Unfortunately narrow minded people will always make comments based on no background or knowledge of a persons situation they are more to be pitied than scorned.Good on you for speaking up and having the strength to stand by your decision to support your loved one.In my opinion you made the right decision and are continuing to be a wonderful carer to Rex never let anyone tell you or make you feel otherwise.HUGE HUGS and wishes to you and Rex. XX
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Occasional Contributor
Thank you Tina,it is so nice reading your supportive reply. The last thing I would ever want to do is put Rex in danger. Gently gently does it. Dotty xx
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Super Contributor
You know you did the right thing by respecting your husband's rights . I suspect the stranger thought you had made the decision to be a cruel and bossy wife . She was probably just concerned for your husband . It's good that you calmed down and put her straight. You are right about not judging others when you are not walking in their shoes.
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Unfortunately some people can seem to be uncaring and insensitive to others peoples feelings. This seems to born more of ignorance than malice. You were very good to not be snappy back to that person Dotty. That situation to some carers would have been the straw, and they, out of despair and the suffering they and their loved one are going through, would have let fly. If you do not show anger in your response, then the accuser has nothing to retaliate further with and also gives them something to be reflective about. They may also modify their comments in the future. "There but for the grace of"..., I think it is called. The chemo and the painkillers started to take the process of rational thinking from my loved one. She was always very independent and to see her loose that, was heartbreaking, and even when she said or did unfair things to me, I still loved and supported her to her very last breath. I look back on that terrible time of the disease knowing that I did everything I could to support her, and that thought brings me comfort. My wife, in her last weeks became frail, but not enough to need assistance to walk. She walked to the hospital bed she died in. This good for nothing disease took her from me at her age of 58 and after 40 yrs of marriage, but it still not happy with that, the carer then becomes the sufferer, and the heartache goes on Never in a million lifetimes would we have thought, this is how we, as couples individuals or loving families would end up, but here we are. It is only the people who are on this journey or those that have been on it, really understand the depth of emotions that enter our lives. wombat4
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Occasional Contributor
Thanks for your insightful reply wombat4, I am so sad you lost your wife to this insidious disease and yes!the carer suffers yet again.You have given me hope that my darling husband can and will walk as long as he is able. Gently gently Dotty
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Regular Contributor
Something that cancer has taught me is that to never judge anyone from their appearance as you never know their story. Why is someone seemingly so fit walking so slowly? How could they let themselves become so overweight? (steroids are wonderful things!) I have learnt to be more observant of people but also to be far less judgemental. Such a shame that others can't be as well or at least keep it to themselves. S
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