Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm Going to Lose My Job

A while back I posted about my boss’ wife who suffered from a stroke. She is still going through lots of rehabilitation and is improving over time. A few days a week, he brings her into the office and she will work on her writing and typing on a keyboard. Mostly, she just works with her left hand and tries to use it like she did before the stroke.

It is uplifting and heart wrenching at the same time. Her upbeat attitude about her recovery and her spirit of “I’ll be as good as new soon” makes me simultaneously smile and cry. She is a trooper as is my boss. He is constantly calling me from the road to help with projects, forward emails and give him phone numbers so he can take care of business while driving from appointments to therapy and such. I do not know if I could do it. I am sure I could if I dig deep enough because you never truly know how you will react during a crisis until it happens.

I guess my real concern is what my wife will do since the odds are in her favor as the care giver for the future. This is one thing I cannot fight thinking about. That one day, I will be the one in a wheelchair, or needing a Seeing Eye dog, or having to learn how to spell and talk once again. I know that is an awful thought but the odds are against me. It is hard to think about and I wish it was just nonsense but it isn’t. I hate to admit it but it is a real possibility.

This brings me to the title of this post.

Today is one of the days when my boss’ wife is here and she is sitting just 2 cubicles away from me practicing stacking paper cups with her left hand. I just heard the following conversation that occurred with one of my co-workers (CW) and my boss’ wife (BW).

CW: How are you feeling?

BW: Much better honey. I just keep working and working but I’m getting better every day!

CW: [My boss] told me that you were having some headaches.

BW: Yeah I was. They were terrible but they went away.

CW: Didn’t you have bad headaches before you had your stroke?

BW: Yeah I did. In fact, a doctor was telling me that it is a symptom and if they would have none they could have done something to prevent it.

CW: You know what, you didn’t speak enough. You can’t ignore when your body gives you signs.

BW: I know I know. (in a very apologetic way)

CW: If you don’t tell them everything that is wrong…

That was when I walked outside. I was so pissed off. I could not take another second.
How can ANYONE say something like that to someone AFTER they have had something tragic happen? How could say, “you should’ve done this or that” when they will never EVER be the same.

I am so mad and upset and just want to give BW a hug while telling CW where she can put her “advice.”

My problem is if I open my mouth, I lose it. I get so mad I am sure I will get canned.

Even a Ninja has limits.


Shannon said...

My pet peeve are people who give advice AFTER the fact, like their knowitallness could reverse time and prevent it from happening. Sometimes people just don't have enough sense to know when advice is helpful and when it's useless.

Plus, the CW seems to be blaming BW for the stroke. That's BS.

What BW needs now is support, not someone pointing out what she probably couldn't prevent anyway.

Vivian said...

I am so right there with you and Shannon about the guilt tactics of CW! I am glad the BW is getting better.
George, while I understand the worry about your future, the one thing you do not have to worry about is how your wife will deal with it. You are married to an incredible woman who loves you very much. She will never view it as a burden (not that it will happen anyway cuz hey you are a ninja) nor will she think less of you. She will care for you with love and compassion. She will still expect you to carry your part of the load, even if that part has changed roles. You are a team, roles may change, duties may swap hands, but you will always be an incredible couple taking care of each other. Take heart, from what I can tell about J, she is a proverbs 31 woman. Love you guys!

Penny said...


You are such a caring person.

CW might have been trying to be helpful, but, um, they weren't. He/she sounded like they were more judgemental than anything.

I would have done the same thing as you. I would have to walk away before I exploded.

On Wednesday nights at my church we are doing a study about helping others deal with crisis. One of the things they say is that you should never tell someone what to do (or what they should have done) The best thing to do is to just be there and listen.

I'm sure your BW would love to have that hug. It would probably mean more to her than anything you could say to her.

Jazz said...

Vivian- I don't think I could've said it any better myself.

If you're trying to sometimes understand the concern or sadness in my face, it's only for your pain and the hurting that it causes you. You know my heart. I've loved you forever and everyday that I pray for the health of our family, we grow stronger.

I also agree with Penny. BW would definitely love that hug. Focus that negative energy and turn it into hugs and kisses for BW. You can do it....from what I're Super G! (They don't know the half of it) Love you

Rachel... said...

That infuriates me. Absolutely, positively. Don't second guess yourself about the hug, though.

I'm glad to hear BW is doing ok.

Minnesota Nice said...

Some people are stupid jerks and don't know any better. Everybody always has plenty of advice on how to navigate someone else's life, and I think people get squirelly when they see somebody with a health problem.
Hon, I spent my first 25 years of db nearly paralyzed by fear - every day, every minute, constantly worrying about what the future would bring. And, because of that, I made a lot of unwise (dumb-ass) decisions.
Then, when I went through my experience with retinopathy and got through it, in one piece, I realized that I will pretty much be able to handle what comes along and maybe shouldn't use up so much energy thinking I'm doomed.
I know it's not easy to put those thoughts aside, especially once they've gotten going and are snowballing.
Play with your kids, play with your band, go for a walk with your wife. Jasmine's comment here was absolutely lovely. You've got a good thing going.
My wish for you is a good, restful sleep and to wake up tomorrow knowing that it will be a beautiful day ahead.
Your friend, KP

Major Bedhead said...

[dripping irony]C'mon, George, don't you know that any ill health is all your fault? You should have KNOWN that your pancreas was going to fail. I should have KNOWN that my thyroid was going to crap out. My daughter brought her diabetes upon herself. It's ALWAYS the patient's fault. You must have missed that memo. [end dripping irony]

Some people always have to make it about themselves, no matter what. Your CW sounds like one of those people.

You're a better person than I am - I don't think I would have been able to keep my mouth shut.

Nicole P said...

George -

Your heart is too big for those Ninja skills of yours... This must have been incredibly difficult for you. I probably would have gotten fired.

Regarding the caretakers. Man, I think about that a lot - what will be left of me to care for? How can I fight becoming that kind of burden? It is incredibly scary - but listen to Vivian, she knows what she's talking about.

Sending you my best zen-ninja (calm, breathing, centered) thoughts...


Chrissie in Belgium said...

I aù COMPLETELY with you here!!! You KNOW the right thing to do is to help and defend BW, but if yoy do you will get sacked AND WHAT DOES THAT ACHIEVE? NOTHING! So talk to BW later, on the side. She needs to know from others that the advice given to her STUNK and was WRONG. Such advice is NO HELP! It isn't good advice! Tell BW, but do it later. If you know yourself and know that you would really start screaming, as I myself would, it IS better to wait. WQaiting is dam hard, but it is better.

Alex said...

First of all, when you wrote "I will be the one in a wheelchair, or needing a Seeing Eye dog, or having to learn how to spell and talk once again." I feel you 100%. I cannot help but think about that and how much a real possibility it is. Enough for most to break down and cry.

Second of all I want to give a mighty ROCK ON to your boss and his wife. It is awesome for both to be pushing so hard for something that is going to take time. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. We live and learn. We have all been in that situation. I know I have and I hate being told you should have...