Sunday, March 16, 2014

Did I really just say that??

I have been fairly outspoken regarding the dismal treatment I have been subjected to by doctors, the government, and people on public transit. I have shared my outrage over the cruelty and lack of empathy I have experienced, as have many others. 

Brain strain

My husband has been dealing with the after-effects of a serious brain injury he suffered while playing hockey over 25 years ago. He was VERY lucky that he even survived, and he was also very fortunate that he wasn't left with severe disabilities. What he has discovered, however, is that he is dealing with the effects of the damage to his frontal lobe. This is where the executive function of the brain resides and affects things like motivation, planning, etc. It is an odd twist of fate that we are both dealing with a certain level of cognitive dysfunction but for very different reasons.

How about some empathy here!

A while back, I created a spreadsheet for our household budget. It took me weeks, and left me drained with a serious brain cramp, but I got it done. I showed him how I set it up and how I tried to make things easy to find with filters and categories. Unfortunately, he continues to struggle with it.

The other day he mentioned (again) his difficulties in finding the information he wants. Without a word of a lie, I said -

What I was basically sayings was -

The second I said it, I realized how insensitive I was being, and saw the irony of my remark. The way I treated him was exactly how I hate being treated! Needless to say, I apologized. I could not believe my behaviour, especially given that he has NEVER spoken to me that way.

This major "faux pas" taught me a good lesson. The next time I'm tempted to complain about how I'm being treated, I will think of this moment. I have no business commenting about someone else when I'm such a glorious mess myself!

A measure of grace

He could have become angry over my callous remark, but he didn't. He could have become indignant, but he didn't. In fact, he too could see the irony in it and even chuckled. My husband is a very gracious man - far more gracious than I am apparently.

When I look back on all those times when I didn't feel I was being treated fairly, what on earth did I expect?? I look perfectly fine on the outside. How can I possibly expect anyone to understand the storms and dysfunction raging inside my body?? I don't even get it!! Perhaps I can let the world off the hook just long enough to extend a measure of grace.

[PS: We found out the other day that his aneurysm is gone. There is no trace of it showing up on the scans. Praise  God!]

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Have you ever been treated badly because of your chronic illness? Have you ever treated someone badly because you thought they should be able to do what you expect of them? What lessons have you learned or are still learning? (it's OK, we are all a work in progress)

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:6-10