Community Magazine

Give Me a Break!

By Douggosling
I don't know why, but I thought that having a terminal disease which turns my life upside down would mean that I would get a few breaks along the way. Now, I don't wear a sign around my neck saying, "BE NICE TO ME - I'M DYING!" and I don't expect strangers to know what's going on with me, so how could I realistically expect anyone to treat me differently?
Well, I can't! So maybe I'm just banking on Karma. Or maybe I'm just appealing to the Universe to give me a break.
I think this is normal for people in my situation. Back in the "real" world when I wasn't ill and didn't know my time was limited, I would get angry if I ran into a traffic jam when I was late driving to a meeting. I would get frustrated if I couldn't find a seat on the subway or if someone snuck in front of me in a line at the bank machine. That was gross selfishness and ego on my part because I was conditioned to think that my time was more important than everyone else's. Embarrassing in retrospect and perhaps a sad commentary on what we have become, because I know I wasn't alone.
But I don't think my desire to "get a break" comes from the same place. I just think that those of us who deal with so much pain, invasive tests and often harsh treatments, and who carry the emotional burden of death hanging over our heads, feel like its too much sometimes. Maybe the Universe doesn't "owe" us anything, but maybe it would just be....... nice. It would be nice to feel that there was some balance in the world.
I have been using a cane to walk for some time, mainly for stability but also to relieve the pain of walking. Canes are an obvious thing and many people are very kind and hold doors for me or are a little more careful around me. But others totally ignore me and some just about run me over. Are they blind or do they just not care?
The other day, something gave way in my back and I started to collapse in a crowded store. There were lots of people around and they all stood by and watched as my 5 foot wife tried to hoist up my heavy 6 foot 2 frame. She managed to get my hands on the shopping cart so I could pull myself up
and which I leaned on to get out to the car. Even as I shuffled across the parking lot in obvious pain and distress, I came close to being run over by several impatient drivers.
Is that what we've come to? Or am I just whining again? It doesn't have to be that way. I remember back in "real time" Dianne and I stopping to help an elderly lady who had fallen and lay bleeding on the sidewalk. We weren't the first car by but were the only ones who stopped. We were appalled!
Sometimes I hate what the "civilized" world has done to us. I guess I'm just more sensitive to it now. And I'm really not complaining. I just want to share with you how things are different for me now. In the past, I would just get mad and complain about all the idiots in the world. Now I just feel sorry for people who have not yet developed any perspective on what is really important. A terminal illness can definitely do that for you, but it's not something I would recommend.
Just try to give us a break sometime. Please.......
P.S. If you follow my posts via email, make sure you click through to dyingdigitally.com for Personal Updates and other news.

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