“Am I pushing you so hard for me to feel better or am I pushing because it is the best thing for you?”
One of the hardest things for people to do is to let go of their loved ones and I see people fight this all the time. They push their loved one and push them to go through treatments, etc because they do not want to lose them and yet, they are unable to stop and see that the person going through these treatments, etc is suffering and in pain. And many lose that special quality time because they are fighting so hard to keep their loved one from dying and pushing their loved one to go through painful treatments, etc that make them sick and so their quality of life is diminished. I am going through treatment right now but my son knows that the minute it ceases to show it is helping me in a good way..then I am stopping.
We have no control button on when we or someone dies. It is one of the mysteries of the universe and when our time comes…it comes. But we do have control on whether we make those last times with our loved ones better or not by how we choose to treat them. I wonder if people ever consider that perhaps the person who does not want treatment or a certain procedure is not giving up on fighting and it has nothing to do with their strength or stamina but has to do with the fact that it is too painful and exhausting, and the side effects make them too sick so they cannot enjoy their family. Maybe it is because they just are too tired to fight anymore and are willing to let what comes next happen. Sometimes we have to think about the person we are pushing and what is best for them and not necessarily what feels the most comfortable for us.
My dear friend Audrey carried me around via the phone through her treatment and we talked all the time as she talked of her fears, how she felt about this or that and what treatments were coming up and her family. One day she called me and said “I am just so tired. I do not want to fight anymore. I cannot take it anymore. I am ready to just let God do what God is going to do and I want to stop treatment.” I asked her had she told her family and her response was no, she had not. She said that every time she tried to bring it up, her family would push her and argue her down to make her keep taking treatment. She cried to me that day because she had truly been through all she could endure and she was tired of all the treatments and things being done to her. I told her that she could stop any time she wanted and to just do it. She asked me to be on the phone with her when she told her family.
No person should have to be forced to say “No more please.” But it happens all the time and it is because family and loved ones let their emotions override what the person that is sick is going through. It is hard when we love someone so much to not want to push them for every treatment possible to keep them with us, but this takes us back to the original question of “Am I pushing you so hard for me to feel better or am I pushing because it is the best thing for you?” When Audrey told her family, a few started in pushing again and I could hear their fear of losing her even over the phone. But the pushing caused Audrey to get very emotional and teary and then she almost just shut down because she could not fight all she was being made to go through and fight them too.
I told her to tell her family to listen to her for a minute and to explain why she no longer wanted to do it. After a few tries she was able to tell them how much pain she was in and how tired she was and that she did not want to spend the last part of her life with this much pain and sickness. One or two still did not want her to quit even with such a plea of not being able to take being tortured anymore. I told Audrey to tell them that it was her decision and she was sorry they could not support her but that she loved them and she WAS stopping treatment. At first some were angry with her. That is hard to fathom that loved ones would get mad because you could not take the pain and suffering anymore but it is a denial in them. They are not bad…just cannot face the reality of what is happening to their loved one. It turned out to be the best thing for her. She did not live but a few weeks longer and at least she was able to enjoy her children and family where she could not while taking treatment and being so sick and in such pain.
I used to work with people who were dying and helped them talk to their families and it is such a hard situation. I would remind the families that their loved one knew what they could and could not handle anymore and that they needed to allow their loved one to make their own decisions and to live with dignity. Most, after a bit of time, would listen and though would cry…they understood that pushing their family member through all these treatments and things was not the right thing to do for their loved one. They had to get past the “Well, she or he is just giving up.” and accept that their loved one was not giving up but had gone through all they could endure and the humane thing was to allow their loved one to do what they wanted …which was stop being subjected to all the treatments, etc.
It really is not a matter of giving up or not fighting. I think most people would agree that they would not want to be subjected to such pain and exhaustive measures day in and day out and know it was not making any real difference. But, that denial part comes out and loved ones feel they have the right to decide for the sick person. If someone did it for them, they would not be happy. My feeling is that I would rather have two weeks of decent time with my loved one than three months of them being in such agony and pain and sick and alone. And I believe there comes a point when we love someone that we have to love them enough to let them go and let them choose how they leave here.
As I look around the world, I realize that so many people have come to rely on adornments to proclaim who they are and what they stand for rather than their actions. I look around and see the WWJD and other religious Tee shirts, sports shirts and caps, pants hanging off the ass, tattoos, jewelry representing this faith or that faith or even other things, clothing designed to place a person in a specific group, and the list goes on.
Now, first let me say I am not against wearing a WWJD tee-shirt or a Broncos tee-shirt or whatever. We each have our own style but what I am against is when people put all this stuff on to show the world who they are but their actions do not back it up. When this happens, something is wrong and out of kilter. I believe that the person we are, our integrity, honesty, faith, etc should be shown by how we act not necessarily by what we wear.
I saw a video the other day that someone posted and it was talking about this in reflection on claiming to be Christian and not acting Christian. Surprisingly, it was a few of the Christians that got upset with it. I am Christian and did not get upset because I have seen this happen too much. People wear all the trappings..the tee shirts, the bracelets, the hats, the stickers on vehicles but do not have it on the inside. It was a video showing a young man putting on the WWJD tee-shirt, bracelet, cross necklass, fix on vehicle and then he walks right past a woman who is crying out because she is dropping all her bags of stuff. My reply to all the ranting was “I have heard WWJD and my answer is Jesus would not have walked past this woman. He would have stopped and helped. If a person is afraid to go help, they can call for help and shout that help is coming to the person in need.” This video is a great visualization tool and a reminder that we should be stopping and paying attention to those around us and giving a helping hand. We do not live on an island.
No matter what you believe you to be, what your life is based on, always show it from the inside out. If you truly believe in something, then allow that to shine from within you. Allow your integrity, honesty, compassion, love, enthusiasm, etc to shine from the inside out for then you are truly authentic to what you believe.
I dream of a world
where there is no pain
I dream of a world
where love flows like rain
I dream of a world
where honesty is the norm
I dream of a world
where authenticity is the life form
I dream of a world
where you can live in peace
I dream of a world
where all wars can cease
I dream of a world
where you love only one
I dream of a world
where all hatred is done
I dream of a world
where all people are well
I dream of a world
where there is no fear to tell
I dream of a world
where all people care
I dream of a world
where we linger right there.
image from www.facebook.com
I have thought about Arizona’s new bill to not serve Gays because it is against one’s religious beliefs for two days and I find that I am just plain appalled by what Arizona has done. I read all the articles and heard the comments that it was not to attack one specific group of people but to protect the religious rights of another. My first question is just what religion are they basing these rights on? It certainly is not Christianity because Christ sat down with everyone including those considered “not worthy” or “sinners”. And we are all sinners and come short of the glory of God. My Bible says we are supposed to emulate Christ so what religion again would say to deny to be kind to someone or to serve them? My Bible also says to not judge and that we will be judged how we judge others. My Bible also says to love one another. So, I still ask just what religion are we protecting?
image from www.pinterest.com
The more I read the more I wondered had I moved to Russia where they outlaw and punish people for being gay as if it were a choice and I did not know I had moved. When did we revert back to the fifties and sixties with just prejudice? I had truly believed that our country had come a long way in resolving the prejudices that ran so strong. And then I watched the Presidential race of this President and watched the hate and racial tones that came from some of the ones running and from people around the country and realized that we still had a long way to go in healing in that department. And then this happens and other states are ready to follow along…to punish one group that all they want is to be treated equal just because a group is filled with prejudice against them. And it makes my heart hurt and sad to see a country that once used to be the most powerful nation in the world become something less than what it should be.
I wonder if people realize the implication this bill Arizona just passed has if it is made into law. Right now it is waiting on the Governor to make the final decision or let it ride. Think about it….my two sons live on opposite sides of the country and have not seen each other in two years. They could be meeting in Arizona on travels and decide to go to a restaurant to eat and visit before planes take off. And when they meet at the restaurant, they hug because they have not seen each other in so long. And someone owning a business or working in a business could decide they are “gay” and refuse to serve them. A friend could rush another friend to the hospital and someone there decide they are gay and refuse to give them medical help. Do you see where I am going here? Who decides a person is gay? Is there a gay meter? What is next? And why pick on those gay ? Oh yes, they serve the man who sits in a restaurant with his mistress or brings her to a specific store to buy her a gift but we will not serve gay people. Last time I heard, my Bible considers adultery a sin so why are they not getting down on that?
Someone recently told me they were not worried about our privacy being invaded and our emails being read. And this person told me they had the right to freedom of speech to say that and anything they want. And my reply was..”yes, you do but did you know we used to have the right to privacy and it is gone. What will be the next right gone?” Well , here it is folks. The right to be served in public establishments simply because you are deemed “gay”. And already, some people have said “Good, as soon as this is finalized, I will quit serving single mothers because I do not like serving them either as they are sinners.” What will be next? Will it be the right to refuse service to certain religious groups because they are against our religion? Can you see it? People refusing to serve a certain faith because they do not believe in what their faith believes. What a scary thought that is. When did we become so filled with hate and rancor? And when did we forget the basic precepts of our country…F R E E D O M.
Are we going backwards? Are the fifties and sixties returning? People love our country because of the fact that we do have freedom and yet one group is wanting to put another group basically in bondage and I find that offensive. I have loved ones that are gay, friends that are gay and love them just as I love all the others in my life. We are becoming a country of based on fear and that is not what I ever expected our country to be. This is why I say I am a person of FAITH not RELIGION. Religion is man-made interpretations of what they think the Bible says and not necessarily true. Why else would we have so many denominations of religions and not everyone get along? Faith is between me and God and my faith relies on kindness, love and treating others as Christ would treat them.
image from freethoughtblogs.com
I can only say shame on you Arizona and pray that this bill is vetoed. Have we become a society of hate and fear? It is certainly starting to look that way. And people, if you do not stand up now, who do you think will be there to stand up when it is you that is on that list of “refuse to serve”? Stand up for something even if you stand alone because if you do not…you will fall for anything. And if you do not believe that…just look back for you will see we have so much happening in the past few years that we never dreamed would happen and came about because we complacently let it happen. If we are complacent…then we are complicit to what is happening. And just take a look at the states waiting to see what happens in Arizona so they can follow suit. And if no one says anything, this could become our whole country.
image from jornalggn.com.br
Look around you. All we see anymore is smartphones and cellphones in hands with texting going on. If you could just glance into houses, you would see people who spend hours on the computer on Facebook, twitter and other social media and yet what we do not see much of anymore is people actually communicating face to face. Have we created such advances in technology that we will hear the roar of silence in the near future? Have we advanced ourselves to a point that we are damaging our own ability to be social creatures…which we are? Are we losing our bran cells to the shiny monitor and in essence losing our voices because the only way we know to talk is to text or message or to be on virtual websites?
image from mustbethistalltoride.com
I remember watching my grand-daughter one time as her fingers just flew on her smart phone and yet, try to get her to carry on a conversation and it was almost impossible. You would get one word answers. Thankfully my son has worked on this and realized what was happening. Computers and smart phones are wonderful but they also can make us lose accountability. People rush on to sites to spew their venom for the day and then go on to another site and never have to be accountable for the damage they did. Friends talk and say I love you and then as they move on to the next person, the first one is in the distant part of their brain. They ask how you are but they only see this antiseptic image in their heads and they do not have to feel your pain or sorrow or whatever emotion is going on because it is only words on a screen. There is no reality. How can you be there for someone that you can not eve visualize?
Are we using technology to insulate ourselves from the reality of the world? Joy, happiness, excitement, sorrow, grief, loss, sickness are all part of the real world and yet, it seems that so many find it easier to live in a virtual world so that they can pretend nothing is wrong. All is paradise and the world is wonderful. And, from what I see, it causes people to not know how to respond to the real world anymore and we see eruptions of violence, anger, hatred, frustration because no one deals with emotions anymore. The virtual world becomes a hollow vacuum of no emotion unless it is the pleasant ones just like creating your own world with virtual world sites where we can create the perfect friend, mate, lover, mother or whatever it is we are seeking. And then, when the world seeps in too much, we can escape to the virtual world and pretend all is right in the world.
Sadly, all is NOT right in the world. People are sick, dying, being abused, murdered, tortured, losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their babies, going missing, being hated and ostracized, getting broken hearts, animals are being abused, the government if failing etc while people have their faces in the internet screen pretending it is not happening. Remember my blog about “normalcy bias”? That is the prefect example. Keep your head in the screen and pretend it is not happening no matter how bad it gets. While I can understand wanting to escape to a land of milk and honey, the sad news is that if no one learns how to cope with the problems and the negative things in life, we become a very dysfunctional world with no solutions because everyone has hidden themselves in the virtual world and not learned how to deal with the real world. And I see us there already. The silence is deafening.
A little virtual world….a little escape is necessary, but when a person spends most of their time facing a smart phone screen or a computer screen, they are letting themselves be lured into thinking that the virtual world is how the real world really is. And when the virtual world does not totally obscure what is going on in the real world, we see explosions of emotions publicly, online, on social media groups and even on newspaper articles: emotions that bubble forth literally frothing from the lips of those that have never learned how to deal with these emotions and so the filter is off.
Sometimes we have to do a black out of the ugliness when the media over saturates us and that is ok. But, if we fail to learn how to deal with our loved one dying, with wars that are inevitable, with loss, with frustration at work, school, etc then we have no coping skills when it happens. And right now the silence is deafening from all the faces in the computer screens and smartphones who are afraid to discuss the hard things. Who will lead this country in the future if no one learns how to deal with the messes that happen? Maybe that is why we have so many messes now. The ones leading never learned how to deal with tough issues. All I know is that if we do not drop the shiny screens of internet land and come out of the virtual world at least long enough to deal with real life, the world will continue to go downhill. And the ones that are smart enough to keep a balance, will end up leading us and we will not even know what their values are because we have not taken time to pay attention to the ones running for office and what they believe in and what they really do. No longer can we depend on a party name to tell us.
image from article.wn.com
I hear phrases like this all the time and I sit and wonder just where is the limit on strong?
“You are so strong.”
“You are so much stronger then I am.”
“I could never do what you do or live with the pain you do.”
“You do not need sedating or pain med because you can handle the pain.”
“You are such a warrior.”
Being strong is a choice we have to make with every minute of every day. Sometimes, being known as “strong” can in reality feel like a punishment because those that see others as strong think they need no help, they need no support, they feel no fear or despair and that they basically can do it all alone. And I can tell you that it is absolutely the biggest bunch of bull anyone could say.
image from quotes-on-the-horizon.tumblr.com
Being strong is a choice but sometimes being strong is a last resort, too. It is a time of being battered so much that you either sink or swim….you either live or die. And so from somewhere deep inside us we pull out that last vestige of reserve and we push forward to try to make it through whatever it is. And I can tell you, if you have ever run a race and when it gets down to that last sprint when your body is screaming in agony and you try to push through it…that pain sears you forever.
My doctor thinks I am so strong and handle pain so well that I can handle the procedure I just had done without sedation. Well, the truth is…he is right. I can handle it but it would be so nice to NOT have to handle it, to be able just occasionally lay there on the table and take it like everyone else with sedation and barely a memory of it when I leave the hospital. Just because I have proven that I can handle it, it at times can feel like punishment for being strong.
See, once people see you being strong, they want to keep testing you, pushing you and it becomes like an endless race until one day you want to curl up in a ball and say “no more!!”. I felt that way the other day. I tried to bare my heart and soul to someone to explain how I have felt with the treatment and now the medical procedures that I am taking to help the pain in my spine. I am fighting with reserve right now. Know what that means? It means that I have run out of my normal fuel and fighting on what little I keep in reserve. But, more importantly, it means that now is the time I need support and yet as I have learned, most people disappear when things are tough. Fair weather friends are always part of life. They stay when things are good and disappear when things are tough, and then return when things are good again. And it is times like these that if you cease to be useful, then you are ignored. It is normal to have times where you can not be there for others and during these times, do not let anyone make you feel less than you are. If we are only worth what we are able to give, then something is out of kilter.
I tried to bare my soul which it not something I normally do and explain what it feels like to lose the ability to care for yourself, what it feels like to know you can not get up and get what you need and what it feels like when people want to shut down your fighting tool . I hear things like “Oh just focus on your battle” or “Do not think about this or that. You have too much to think about.” What I could not make them see was that focusing on another easier fight helps me make it through the tough ones. If I distract myself with this battle such as the book my son is writing, then I am not drowning in the current battle.
And as I laid my soul wide open, I realized that you can not explain to someone, not even someone you love and trust dearly, what it is like if they have never been there. People complain all the time about how tired they get of trying to explain to people what being chronically ill is like and my response is “then quit trying to explain”. And that is what I did. I just quit trying to explain for people think they get it but they really do not. It is like cooking a dish that no one has ever heard of and trying to tell them what it taste like. If they have never tasted anything similar to it, they have no idea. Sort of like trying to explain to people how being strong is not always a choice but rather it is sometimes the only option left. And if you try to bare your heart and soul to tell what you are feeling, most people..not all, but most people think you are just being “emotional” and the strain of the battle is making you less able to cope. They do not realize that you were trusting them with a gift…the very essence of who you are.
So, when you are struggling. Remember that being strong is a choice and sometimes it is a last resort. And if you find yourself feeling like you are battling alone, then hang on to the one friend you can count on…yourself. And use yourself to entertain yourself, to encourage yourself, to love yourself, and to make yourself smile. And know that this too shall pass and while it might make you stronger, it does leave scars behind and so be gentle and loving to yourself. Treat yourself if you can and try to ride through it. For you can and will make it. And know danLrene cares and prays for all of you.
I can not imagine having a child that was like this little girl and no one ….no doctor could figure out what was wrong with the child who could not speak and could not walk. We have brilliant doctors at major hospitals around the world that know so much. We have geneticists that are well-trained. We have doctors researching rare diseases. Why can no one figure out what is wrong with this child?
This news interview was done in hopes that someone, somewhere may have seen a child just like his, or a doctor may see and may have studied on a child like this child. So, I am passing on in my blog that people read in many countries in hopes that you may pass on and someone find a solution…a doctor…a hospital that knows about what might be causing this child to be like this…unable to speak or walk at 7 years old. What a pretty little girl she is.
Please click on the link below to see the video about Mya.
I am asking all of you to please share this story and keep sharing it in hopes that someone somewhere might have an answer or at least have a new route to take to find one. We as lay people in reality can only ask questions such as has this been checked etc. But we may know a hospital or a doctor that deals with rare diseases that might be interested in this or a family that has a child that is suffering with the same symptoms Mya is and where they went for help. I would love to see this go around the world for the USA is not the only country with brilliant doctors. So, if you would share the video…it might bring a change for Mya and her daddy, who is raising her alone.
Awesome blog. As you can see I have learned much from a great author and keynote speaker and wonderful friend. Thank you Sher for your wonderful words of wisdom.
Originally posted on Dr. Sherry E. Showalter - "Keepin It Real":